McCarthy rings the changes

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Football

McCarthy rings the changes

The Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy makes five changes to his side for today's friendly against Croatia in Dublin as he seeks the formula to end a depressing run of defeats since taking over from Jack Charlton. Into the starting line-up come Gary Breen (Birmingham), Liam Daish (Coventry), Mark Kennedy (Liverpool), Niall Quinn (Manchester City) and Keith O'Neill (Norwich). Breen, Quinn and O'Neill were all used as substitutes in the Portuguese game. Breen, brought in by Birmingham after Daish moved to Coventry, now partners the former St Andrews player in the Republic side with Blackburn's Jeff Kenna the third central defender. Wimbledon's versatile Ken Cunningham fills the right-back role with Liverpool's Kennedy restored to midfield. "I have to have one eye on Tuesday's match with Holland in Rotterdam as I need all my experienced players for that encounter," McCarthy said. The Croatian manager Miroslav Blazevic rests the prolific Barcelona marksman Robert Prosinecki, but otherwise his starting line-up is similar to that which will take on Turkey in their opening Euro 96 tie.

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