By Damian Spellman, PA
Republic of Ireland skipper Seamus Coleman will be given until the last minute to prove his fitness ahead of Monday night’s Euro 2024 qualifier against France.
The 34-year-old Everton defender reported for international duty nursing a slight thigh strain and manager Stephen Kenny has admitted he is a doubt for the game at the Aviva Stadium.
Asked at his pre-match press conference on Sunday afternoon if Coleman had been ruled out, Kenny said: “No, he is not ruled out. We will have to see how today goes. We train today.”
Coleman later joined his team-mates on the training pitch under grey skies at Abbotstown, but he faces a race against time to make the game.
Asked further if he could put a percentage on the chances of a key player being fit, Kenny added: “We have to see on that today and see how it goes. I wouldn’t like to get drawn into percentages, but certainly Seamus is a very good player.
“It’s not so much his experience, it’s that he’s playing well himself at the moment. Experience is a factor, but his performances for Everton have been very good.
“For footballing reasons, he merits his place in the team because he has been playing very well for Everton and had an injury-free run and been able to train regularly over the last number of months and performed very well for Everton.
“He is the captain, of course, but we’ll have to see on that.”
Meanwhile, left wing-back Callum O’Dowda picked up a groin injury during Wednesday night’s 3-2 friendly victory over Latvia and while he too is yet to be ruled out, Preston’s Robbie Brady has been drafted in as cover.