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Published: 16:01 | 25/5/16

McCarthy a doubt for Dutch tie

Midfielder battling groin injury

James McCarthy is in danger of missing the Republic of Ireland's international friendly against the Netherlands.

McCarthy has been struggling with a groin injury since Everton's final Premier League game and has been unable to train with the rest of the squad this week. While he is making progress, the midfielder may be forced to sit out Friday's penultimate Euro 2016 warm-up friendly at the Aviva Stadium.

Ciaran Clark, meanwhile, aggravated an existing ankle injury during Tuesday session and will need to improve if he is to feature against Danny Blind's side.

"James McCarthy hasn’t trained yet and he came off in his final game for Everton but he’s getting better. He’s had some scans which proved to be negative which is good, and Ciaran Clark is not completely right but improving," manager Martin O'Neill confirmed.

"They may not play in the game [on Friday]. I think that both in normal circumstances would like to get some training done before they step in to the game, but if they haven’t trained by tomorrow, I think I’m more or less likely not to put them into that game."

O'Neill will announce his final 23-man squad either on Saturday or after Tuesday's friendly against Belarus and the manager has indicated that he will be looking to cut from midfield and attack.

"Obviously there’s a couple of players that haven’t played an awful lot in centre midfield and that might be an area where we would certainly be having a look, and maybe wait until the second game (before naming the final squad)," O'Neill confirmed.

"We may have to take one forward out but we’ve got some time as well too but we’ll have a look.

"With these players here at international level, they give up their time and energy and want to be involved, and it certainly wouldn’t be for the money, it’s for the glory.

"I’ve a few decisions to make, whether it’s at the weekend or whether we wait until the last couple of hours after the Belarus game, there will be disappointment and it certainly wouldn’t be easy for that reason, because these are international players who want to play for their country."

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