James McClean during a Republic of Ireland training session at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
James McClean during a Republic of Ireland training session at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Daniel McDonnell

James McClean trained on his own yesterday as he nurses a back injury ahead of Ireland’s double-header with Georgia and Switzerland.

The Derryman sat out Monday’s session with a “stiff back” having missed out on Stoke’s weekend win over Swansea.

McClean is a valuable member of Mick McCarthy’s side and is a candidate to start at left-back in Tbilisi with Enda Stevens suspended, although it’s more likely that his energy will be deployed further up the park.

However, the 30-year-old has work to do to get up to speed ahead of the match and he was doing drills with physio Tony McCarthy while the rest of the group went through their paces on the adjoining pitch at Abbotstown.

The FAI were tight-lipped on McClean’s fitness last night, suggesting that an update on his well-being and the current injury situation with Shane Duffy and David McGoldrick would be made clear today.

Duffy and McGoldrick are undergoing treatment with their clubs with a view to making the plane tomorrow, although the Switzerland match might prove to be a more viable target for both players.

Preston’s Alan Browne hopes that last month’s friendly against Bulgaria showed what the fringe players can do, yet he was also honest about the level they faced.

“I think they could have been a lot better but at the same time you can only beat what’s put in front of you,” he said.

Irish Independent






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