Republic of Ireland retain Jeff Hendrick hope


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Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill is hopeful Jeff Hendrick will be available for the first-leg of the World Cup 2018 play-off with Denmark on Saturday.

Hendrick had to be removed from the action for club side Burnley in their 1-0 win at Southampton at the weekend due to a glute injury.

O’Neill says the midfielder is a concern but he is confident he will be able to feature in Copenhagen on Saturday.

The Republic of Ireland are 5.00 to claim a win on Saturday in Denmark. The hosts can be backed at 1.75 and a draw is 3.50.

“We have one or two who played over the weekend carrying bumps and bruises, and we’ll see how they are over the next few days,” O’Neill told Sky Sports.

“Jeff came off after about 60-odd minutes, he was having a bit of a problem and he’s still a little bit sore at the moment.

“He’s still hopeful and I think it’s a case of the other players being nursed through the next couple of days as well.

“He’s said he’s improving so that’s good news. If the game was tomorrow morning he might struggle but he’s pretty hopeful and the medical team are hopeful.”

O’Neill concedes Denmark may well dominate possession this weekend but he says his side must remain positive and ensure they give themselves the best possible chance of winning the tie going into the second leg in Dublin next week.

He added: “We must stay in the competition, try to get an away goal for a start, try to be positive in the games.

“The most important thing is to get out there and be positive, no point sitting back wondering.”

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