Football: McCarthy delays naming Republic side

Watford's David Connolly and Mark Kennedy of Liverpool passed fitness tests yesterday, but the Republic of Ireland manager, Mick McCarthy, has delayed naming his team for the World Cup Group Eight qualifier against Liechtenstein in Dublin until just before kick-off.

Connolly, who strained a thigh in the warm-up for Pat Bonner's testimonial match on Sunday, believes he will be fit for the game, as does Kennedy, who is equally confident of his own chances despite some discomfort with a groin strain.

However, McCarthy sounded a note of caution yesterday, saying: "I won't take any chances. We will see if there is any reaction. But if they are both OK it will very difficult to make changes apart from the enforced ones after a good performance against Romania last month."

The Irish suffered a 1-0 defeat to the group leaders in Bucharest, but it was a vastly improved display from the 3-2 defeat in Macedonia three weeks earlier and they can climb to second place in the table with a three- goal win tonight.

The upsurge of confidence has prompted the Football Association of Ireland to discuss a two-year extension of McCarthy's contract which is due to expire in March.

Blackburn's Jeff Kenna is set to replace Manchester United's injured full-back Denis Irwin, after substituting impressively for him for the second half in Bucharest. Shay Given, Kenna's team-mate who is set for a pounds 2m move to Newcastle in the summer, will win his ninth cap in goal in place of the injured Alan Kelly.

Portsmouth's Alan McLoughlin is available after suspension, but is unlikely to regain a midfield place with the central trio looking certain to be Ray Houghton of Crystal Palace, United's Roy Keane and Andy Townsend of Aston Villa.

The Irish beat Liechtenstein 5-0 in Eschen in August and tonight's visitors are still without a point in the group.

However, McCarthy said: "They will take great delight in trying to make things as difficult as possible for us. They will come with a deep defence and try to quieten our crowd by frustrating us for as long as possible - the kind of thing we enjoyed doing when we went away to supposedly superior sides in Jack Charlton's days as manager - and so we can expect to have to work for anything we get."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: We are currently looking for a Geog...

Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key Stage 1

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...

Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...

Tradewind Recruitment: History Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee