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O'Neill fine after motorway crash

Published 10/06/2015

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and his coaching staff were back on the training pitch on Wednesday after a motorway accident
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and his coaching staff were back on the training pitch on Wednesday after a motorway accident

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill and his coaching staff were back on the training ground on Wednesday morning just hours after being involved in a motorway shunt.

The 63-year-old, assistant Roy Keane and coaches Steve Walford, Steve Guppy and Seamus McDonagh, were travelling in the same car on the M50 on Tuesday when they were hit from behind.

However, they suffered only minor injuries, which were treated by team doctor Alan Byrne, and all five were on the training pitch at Gannon Park in Malahide as the Republic stepped up preparations for Saturday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland.

O'Neill said: "We're fine, we're fine, I'll survive anyway. We just got shunted from the back. I speak for myself, but I'm feeling not too bad."

Asked if the incident had been scary, O'Neill added after a pause: "Yeah, but listen, we're fine."

News of the collision sparked a flurry of activity on social media on Tuesday night, although it did not appear to cause too much of a ripple at the team hotel in Portmarnock.

Asked if any of the players had commented on it, O'Neill said with a smile: "They may have slagged some of the other staff, but they certainly didn't slag me."

Skipper Robbie Keane, who flew into Dublin after playing for club LA Galaxy on Saturday evening, trained with his team-mates, as did defender John O'Shea after complaining of a tight calf muscle in the wake of Sunday's 0-0 friendly draw with England.

Asked how record scorer Keane looked, O'Neill said: "Not too bad. He had a long flight, got in - and I think he played the full game [at the weekend]. I don't think he was expecting to play the full game, but he stayed on the field as they were losing.

"But he's feeling not so bad now. It might take him a day to get sorted out, but not too bad.

"John trained this morning, which is great, and he's feeling much, much better. He felt a bit uncomfortable on Monday, but he trained and he's okay."

However, there was less encouraging news of midfielder Harry Arter, who is a doubt for the weekend as he nurses hip and groin injuries picked up during his debut as a substitute on Sunday.

O'Neill said: "Harry Arter didn't train today. He has a hip problem and a groin and is away to be assessed. It's a shame because when he came on, I thought he had done very well indeed, and he is starting to grow into this, I think.

"Naturally in the course of the next few months, his time with Bournemouth in the Premier League will stand him in good stead.

"He made a very decent impression when he came on, so I'm a wee bit disappointed that he's picked up this injury. But we'll see how it goes over the next few days.

"He's being assessed today. He felt it on Sunday and a wee bit more discomfort on Monday, and is off to be assessed."

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