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Published: 09:44 | 30/5/16

O'Neill has McCarthy concerns


Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill is sweating over the fitness of James McCarthy as the deadline for his Euro 2016 squad draws ever closer.

O'Neill will reduce his squad to 23 after Tuesday's international friendly against Belarus at Turner's Cross but the Everton midfielder looks almost certain to sit out the final warm-up game as he continues to nurse a hamstring injury,

McCarthy failed to take part in a single training session last week before doing some light work on his own on Saturday morning. He could join the rest of the squad for training on Monday and, while O'Neill is hopeful he will be fit for the start of the tournament, he will listen to the advice of his medical team before making a final decision on his inclusion.

"We're going to have another look at some things and see how he is again on Monday. I said before that I didn't think it was a big concern," O'Neill is quoted as saying in the Irish Independent.

"I can say no more than that at this minute, that I think he should be okay. Should be okay. I thought with plenty of confidence during the middle of the week, from the news I was getting, that everything would be okay, and I would be only slightly less confident now.

"He's doing some stuff at this minute with the medical team and the scans have been clear, both the one at Everton and the one we've done.

"So, while that's reassuring, it doesn't necessarily mean everything's right. And you're still feeling something a little bit. James is one of those lads who genuinely likes to be training, not missing a few days, and then you start to get a wee bit worried in case he's missed out for a while."

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