Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

14.35 28 Feb 2021


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Stephen Kenny is set to be without winger James McClean for the Republic of Ireland's opening World Cup qualifier in Serbia next month.

Stoke City boss Michael O'Neil said he will be out for “four to six weeks" after their 2-1 EFL Championship loss to Brentford on Saturday.

Speaking at full-time in west London, O'Neill said "McClean had an injection on a foot injury so the time frame for him is four to six weeks.”

The 31-year-old also missed their midweek trip to Barnsley after pulling out of training on Tuesday.

An Instagram post by his wife Erin has shown her husband wearing a protective boot, highlighting the extent of the damage.

The trip to Belgrade is due to take place on 24 March.

Kenny is already without injured pair John Egan and Callum O’Dowda.

McClean started Ireland's Euro 2020 play-off semi-final in Slovakia last year when Aaron Connolly was ruled out after being deemed a close contact to a Covid-19 case, which ended up being a negative.

McClean himself then tested positive during the November international window and he missed the last game - a scoreless draw against Bulgaria in Dublin.

Stephen Kenny has had a horrible start to his senior international managerial career.

Since taking over last summer his squad has been rocked by injuries, Covid-19 issues, and also the unwelcome international attention 'videogate' attracted along with the departure of assistants Damien Duff and Alan Kelly.


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