The FAI have this evening confirmed that Shane Long has been forced to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland’s squad for their upcoming European Championship qualifiers.
Ireland’s road ahead
Mick McCarthy’s first competitive outings since retaking his place as Ireland’s manager are set to take place over the coming week, with the former Wolves and Sunderland boss no doubt eager to secure a 6-point haul.
The Boys in Green will first travel to Gibraltar for their opening European qualifier on Saturday evening.
And Ireland will then welcome Georgia to the Aviva Stadium 3 days later.
The prospects of McCarthy’s men, though, have been dampened of late by a number of problems on the personnel front.
All of Callum O’Dowda, Alan Browne and Ronan Curtis have been ruled out of Ireland’s squad with respective injuries.
And, as outlined above, the latest, and most high-profile player to have withdrawn from McCarthy’s squad is striker Shane Long.
Experienced 32-year-old hitman Long picked up a groin injury after being introduced as a half-time substitute during Southampton’s 2-1 win over Tottenham 10 days ago, with the problem having this evening seen the 82-time capped international forced to return to England for further treatment.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) March 19, 2019
Long has been replaced in the Irish squad by Millwall striker Aiden O’Brien:
SQUAD UPDATE: Aiden O’Brien has been called into the Ireland squad for the upcoming games against Gibraltar and Georgia. He replaces Shane Long who has pulled out with a groin injury. O’Brien will link up with the squad tomorrow #COYBIG pic.twitter.com/7tH0FRSaJP
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) March 19, 2019