Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill plays waiting game

Republic of Ireland boss Martin ONeill

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Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill will give his injury doubts time to prove their fitness before finalising his squad for their crucial clashes with Bosnia.

The Irish travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina for the first leg of their Euro 2016 qualification play-off on Friday, with the return leg in Dublin set to take place the following Monday.

O’Neill has got his squad together for training, however the likes of John O’Shea, Shane Long and Rob Elliot have remained with their respective clubs for further treatment before a decision is made on whether or not they can be involved.

The former Leicester City and Celtic boss insists he has an idea of how his side might line up in Zenica on Friday, but he is reluctant to make any concrete decisions at this stage.

He told the Irish Times: “It’s the first training session of the week, so first things first. There’s no point in having lots of things in your mind if, for instance, some players that you might have been thinking about turn out not to be available.

“So I’ll sit down over the next few days, talk to some of the players and then formulate some sort of a plan… which is not to say I haven’t been thinking about it; it’s all I’ve been thinking about since the draw in Geneva.”

Long is unlikely to be available for the first leg due to an ankle injury although he could make a return when Bosnia arrive in Dublin. Jon Walters is suspended for the first clash so Daryl Murphy is likely to be involved in Zenica.

The ROI are 4.20 to win the first leg in Bosnia or 51.00 to win 3-1. A win for the hosts is 1.95 and the draw can be backed at 3.30.

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