Daniel McDonnell – 22 August 2013
[SIZE=5]GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI will travel to Bolton on Saturday to run the rule over [U]Richard Dunne[/U][/URL] before confirming his squad for next month’s crunch World Cup qualifiers with [URL=‘http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/Sweden_national_football_team’][U]Sweden[/U] and Austria.[/SIZE]
The [U]Ireland[/U][/URL] manager had suggested that Dunne would need to prove his fitness in consecutive games before earning a recall to his squad, and the 33-year-old made a timely league debut for QPR against [URL=‘http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/Ipswich_Town_FC’][U]Ipswich[/U][/URL] last weekend. He missed the entire 2012/13 season with a groin problem that led to his release from [URL=‘http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/Aston_Villa’][U]Aston Villa[/U], and Trap wants to see the defender in person to ascertain his condition.
After last week’s scoreless draw with [U]Wales[/U][/URL], the 74-year-old indicated he had confidence in the partnership of John [URL=‘http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/John_O’Shea’][U]O’Shea[/U][/URL] and Ciaran Clark, but would monitor [URL=‘http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/Dunnes_Stores’][U]Dunne’s[/U] situation. Therefore, QPR’s Saturday lunchtime Championship encounter with Bolton will be crucial for the Dubliner.
Clark was forced off before half-time in Aston Villa’s [U]Premier League[/U][/URL] meeting with [URL=‘http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/Chelsea_F.C.’][U]Chelsea[/U] last night, but that was because he required stitches for a head wound and he is expected to be fine.
Trapattoni names his squad in Dublin on Sunday, although, under [U]FIFA[/U] rules, the FAI have to let clubs know by the end of the week that they wish to invite their players into the panel for the qualifiers.
Dunne made a 25-minute cameo in the June friendly with [U]Georgia[/U][/URL], with his last Irish appearance prior to that coming at [URL=‘http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/Euro_2012’][U]Euro 2012[/U][/URL]. Trapattoni said last week that he was happy with the central defensive options he has used in the last year, although [URL=‘http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/Sean_St_Ledger’][U]Sean St Ledger[/U][/URL] is a major doubt for September, with [URL=‘http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/Darren_O’Dea_(footballer)’][U]Darren O’Dea[/U] the next in line in Cardiff after O’Shea and Clark.
Trap will take in two games on Saturday, with his Bolton jaunt followed by a short trip to Goodison Park to watch [U]Everton[/U][/URL] take on [URL=‘http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/West_Bromwich_Albion_FC’][U]West Brom[/U][/URL]. That will allow him to see likely starters [URL=‘http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/Seamus_Coleman’][U]Seamus Coleman[/U][/URL] and [URL=‘http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/Shane_Long’][U]Shane Long[/U][/URL] in action. The exiled [URL=‘http://searchtopics.independent.ie/topic/Darron_Gibson_(footballer)’][U]Darron Gibson[/U] is battling to recover from injury in time to make his Toffees seasonal bow.
The Ireland boss said last Thursday that Gibson had failed to reply to his most recent message, and the Derry native is not expected to figure again under this regime barring a dramatic change of heart.
Management had originally considered travelling from Bolton to Hull to take in the latter’s Premier League showdown with Norwich, which will have a heavy Irish flavour in both sides.
That plan was ruled out on the basis that it would require leaving the Bolton match before getting a clearer picture of Dunne’s wellbeing across a full game.