Martin O'Neill on Sean Maguire: 'There are a couple of lads in front of him at the moment'Mon, May 15 2017
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There was no place in the squad for the very much in form Cork City attacker Sean Maguire, but much of the attention at Monday morning's squad announcement was centred on another player who used to play with the Leesiders.
Burnley defender Kevin Long is the only new face in the 38-man squad list named by Martin O'Neill for the upcoming friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay and the World Cup qualifier against Austria.
Long moved to the Turf Moor club in 2010 from Cork City.
The call up to the Ireland squad caps off a fantastic fortnight for the 26-year-old , who made his first Premiership start in the clash with West Brom before also featuring against Bournemouth last weekend.
"Roy [Keane] saw Long play last weekend for Burnley and said that you shouldn't discount him," said O Neill on picking the defender.
"With Ciaran Clark out, it is nice to have competition for places."
O’Neill declared Cork City striker Sean Maguire a player the management team are keeping an eye on, but at the moment there are a few forwards ahead of him for selection.
Maguire has been in red hot form for the Leesiders this season, who are currently 12 points clear at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.
“Maguire is a player we are monitoring. There are a couple of lads in front of him at the moment, but we will keep looking at him,” he said.
“It is good to see he is doing well,” added O'Neill who has been impressed by Maguire's displays this season, which have resulted in the 23-year-old attracting the attention of a number of clubs cross-channel.
There is also room for Reading's Liam Kelly, while David Meyler and Clark join Seamus Coleman on the list of injury-enforced absentees.
Everton midfielder James McCarthy and Brighton's Shane Duffy have both also been included in the squad, despite missing the end of their clubs' seasons with injury.
One player who just missed out however was Cillian Sheridan, who has been in good goalscoring form for Polish title chasers Jagiellonia Bia?ystok.
O’Neill admitted that the forward, who moved to Poland following a spell in Cyprus, is another player he is monitoring at the present moment in time.
“Cillian Sheridan was most definitely a consideration. We are keeping a close eye on his form."
O’Neill’s side will travel Stateside to face Mexico in New Jersey, before coming back to Dublin to face Uruguay at the Aviva Stadium.
“I wanted the game in America against Mexico. It will give us a chance to get the players on the pitch and to work together,” said O’Neill.
After that it will be the small matter of Austria in that FIFA World Cup Qualifier on the 11th of June, a game which should provide a stern examination for Ireland in their quest to make it to Russia in 2018.
Republic of Ireland squad to face Mexico, Uruguay and Austria:
Goalkeepers: Colin Doyle, Rob Elliot, Darren Randolph, Keiren Westwood.
Defenders: Cyrus Christie, Paul McShane, Richard Keogh, Alex Pearce, John Egan, Andy Boyle, Kevin Long, John O’Shea, Shane Duffy, Marc Wilson, Stephen Ward, Matt Doherty.
Midfielders: Aiden McGeady, James McClean, Glenn Whelan, James McCarthy, Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick, Conor Hourihane, Stephen Gleeson, Harry Arter, Eunan O’Kane, Liam Kelly, Darron Gibson, Wes Hoolahan, Daryl Horgan, Callum O’Dowda, Jonathan Hayes.
Forwards: Kevin Doyle, David McGoldrick, Daryl Murphy, Shane Long, Jonathan Walters, Adam Rooney
Thursday, June 1: Republic of Ireland v Mexico, MetLife Stadium, New Jersey, KO 20:00 (1am Irish Time)
Sunday, June 4: Republic of Ireland v Uruguay, Aviva Stadium, KO 18:00
Sunday, June 11: Republic of Ireland v Austria, Aviva Stadium, KO 17:00