Joachim Low’s men suffered an uncharacteristically low-key start to their campaign, losing in Poland and drawing at home with the Republic in their second and third qualifiers, but have since secured a run of five successive victories.
O’Neill is aware of Crowley’s potential and he has even held a meeting with the player’s father, with the prospect of persuading him to join up with Ireland. “He’s very keen to play if he can but we’ll see”. We would have a real, genuine interest in that.
Given the saga’s length, comedic qualities, emotional range and ability to distract (how ever briefly) from the dismal happenings on the pitch, the Jack Grealish saga was never going away quietly.
Grealish was not included in the latest England squad as he did not receive clearance from Federation Internationale de Football Association in time.
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill is hopeful that Seamus Coleman will be available for selection for his side’s important Euro2016 qualifier against Germany on Thursday. If Coleman doesn’t make it, Cyrus Christie will may well replace him as he did in last month’s game in Gibraltar, however the Derby County player also has a knock.
The Everton defnder has been sidelined with the injury since the Toffees’ win over Chelsea last month and while Roberto Martinez cast doubts over Coleman’s fitness, O’Neill is happy to give the Killybegs native every opportunity to recover.
“It’s a very short week, we’re at it on Thursday, the physcial condition of the players is very important and maybe the use of the substitutes”.
Ireland are preparing for a crucial Euro 2016 qualification double-header, with games against Germany and Poland set to decide their fate in Group D.
“They’ve had what they might consider a couple of hiccups along the way, including one against us”.
“This is what you play the game for, to play in the big games like this”, Christie said. It is the first game and the game we have to focus on and hopefully get a result in.
Training will increase in intensity as the week progresses ahead of a contest in which O’Neill knows his team may have to play without the ball for long periods.
“We know what we have to do”, he said.
Meanwhile, Shay Given, who joked about his poor “negotiation skills” with his former Aston Villa colleague, feels Grealish would have added hugely to the Irish set-up.