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Published: 08:35 | 4/10/16

Injury problems for O'Neill

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has called up Manchester City keeper Ian Lawlor and Aberdeen forward Adam Rooney to his squad for the upcoming games against Georgia and Moldova.

O'Neill has a lengthy injury list to contend with ahead of the 2018 World Cup qualifying double-header with a number of players set to miss out Thursday’s clash with Georgia at the Aviva Stadium.

Striker Daryl Murphy has been ruled out with a calf problem, while Keiren Westwood and Anthony Pilkington are both nursing thigh injuries. Stephen Quinn is facing a spell out with a knee problem has a thigh injury.

Harry Arter has yet to travel to Dublin as he waits for the results of a scan on a groin problem and O'Neill admits the lengthy injury list is proving problematic.

"It would help to have fit players. It's not great, the quick turnaround - we fly out the next day to Moldova. But you have to curse your luck and get on with it," he said.

James McCarthy will join up with the squad but O'Neill has assured Everton manager that he will not take any undue risks with the midfielder, who has returned to action following groin surgery.

"He's been recovering from the operation and has done a lot of work. He's pretty optimistic, but we'll see how that goes over the next two days," O'Neill said.

"We don't have much time between now and Thursday. If he gets a couple of training sessions in, that would be beneficial for him and useful for us."

The Boys in Green kicked off their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-2 draw in Serbia last month and they will be looking to take maximum points when they host Georgia on Thursday.

"It's a hard game for us, I don't see it any other way. The two games we had with them were really difficult matches. We have to try to win the game," O'Neill said.

"Late on in the game against Austria they put on immense pressure and with the problems we have here, we just have to cope with it, get on with it and play really strongly to win."

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