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Ireland Hit by Double Injury Blow

by Philip Weafer

Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has been dealt further blows with injuries to the team during the side’s preparation for the upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers against Russia and Slovakia.

Midfielders Damien Duff and Keith Andrews have pulled out of the squad due to injuries and will return to their respective parent clubs.

Trapattoni has resisted the urge to call up any midfield replacements despite Keith Tracey pulling out during last week complaining of fatigue.

The Italian has, however, called up Stoke’s Marc Wilson as a replacement for Stephen Kelly and Darren O’Dea who withdrew from the squad last week.

Trapattoni spoke at the team’s training base in Malahide ahead of Friday’s qualifier against Russia in the Aviva stadium.

‘Damien Duff has had a scan and there is a little injury. It is 90 per cent sure that he is not available.’

‘A muscle injury is very dangerous. It is not easy to recover in eight days.’

‘He has pulled the muscle and there is a little blood showing on the scan, so we spoke to the doctor and he is going home.’

When asked about calling up additional replacements Trapattoni replied: ‘No, we have enough wingers here. With Stephen Kelly missing, we are a defender short, so we have called up Marc Wilson.’

The Republic launched their campaign with back-to-back victories over Armenia and Andorra last month.

Trapattoni said: ‘We are happy after the first two games, but I have told the players we must start every game as if it were the first.’

‘We would like to win because it would be a very, very important result as we know the points the Russians are behind.’

‘From these two games, it would be excellent to achieve four points – but it is also important to stay at the top of the table.’

As Duff and Andrews are injured, it is unlikely that the team will change for the two upcoming qualifiers.

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