More injury misery for Maguire but Egan impressed in a back three for Ireland

More injury misery for Maguire but Egan impressed in a back three for Ireland
Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

SEANIE Maguire limped off during the Republic of Ireland’s 0-0 draw with Northern Ireland at the Aviva Stadium last night with a reoccurrence of the hamstring issue that troubled him recently.

The former Cork City striker was introduced as a second-half sub during the Republic’s stalemate with the North in Dublin but he lasted just close to 13 minutes as he appeared to struggle with his movement.

The 24-year-old only returned to action in the last few weeks having been ruled out of action for two months as he injured his hamstring during a pre-season friendly with his current club Preston North End at the beginning of August.

Irish boss Martin O'Neill admits he fears the forward may have suffered the injury again and described it as a blow for club and country.

“It looks like it is his hamstring again,” said O’Neill.

“That is going to be really unfortunate because he has been plagued with those just recently and that will be a blow to the lad, it’s a blow to us and it’s a blow to his club if that’s the case.

“I don’t know how serious it is at this moment but he certainly was feeling it.” 

On a positive note from a disappointing night, O’Neill insisted that John Egan enjoyed a fine game in the heart of his defence.

John Egan heads clear from Gavin Whyte. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
John Egan heads clear from Gavin Whyte. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

The former Greenwood centre-back played the full 90 minutes and kept a clean sheet in the friendly against Michael O’Neill’s side.

The 26-year-old played as part of a back three alongside Blackburn’s Darragh Linehan and Brighton’s Shane Duffy and O’Neill insisted that Egan’s move from Brentford to Sheffield United during the summer has aided his progress.

“I thought Johnny (Egan) did fine, really fine,” said O’Neill before adding that he can still improve.

“I think he is comfortable with the ball. When he plays with Sheffield United he plays in the middle of the three and he is improving which is great.

“I think the move to Sheffield United has done him the world of good and I think there is only improvement in him.

“The 3-5-2 (formation)? It is certainly working in terms of not conceding goals. In terms of the chances that the North had it was down to mistakes that we had made under no serious pressure whatsoever.

“So I would have to say that defensively were not conceding now but we need to do more going forward, we need to be able to create and we haven’t, in the last few games.

“We certainly haven’t been able to do that.”

Bandon's Conor Hourihane was introduced at midfield for Glenn Whelan, the captain on the night to mark his 85th and final cap for Ireland.

Bandon's Conor Hourihane after the game. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Bandon's Conor Hourihane after the game. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

More in this section

Sponsored Content