Belfast Telegraph

Martin O'Neill omits Jon Walters from 34-man Republic of Ireland squad for World Cup play-off but he could return

By John Brennan

Jon Walters is not in the 34-man provisional Republic of Ireland squad for next month's World Cup play-offs against Denmark, but Martin O'Neill has not yet given up on his man.

As expected, the injured duo of Jonathan Walters and Seamus Coleman have not recovered sufficiently to be considered.

O'Neill admitted that the games came too soon for the Everton full-back but Walters still had a slight chance of being involved.

The Burnley man, Ireland's Player of the Year in 2015, has not been asked to come in by O'Neill for now - despite Walters' club boss Sean Dyche holding out some hope that he might make the games on November 11 in Copenhagen and in Dublin three days later.

"Jon is making good progress," said O'Neill, "I have spoken to him and he's coming on well, and maybe if things change for the lad over the next ten days, he could still come in if he continues to improve fitness-wise."

Seanie Maguire is included in the group as he battles back from a hamstring injury suffered at Preston while O'Neill revealed he had watched James McCarthy play for Everton at Chelsea on Wednesday night and is delighted to see the midfielder back.

Alan Browne (Preston), Paul McShane (Reading) and Matt Doherty (Wolves) are all in the extended squad and now they have a fortnight to hold their places before the Irish manager trims his group to a more workable 25 or 26 to prepare to face the Danes.

Extended Republic of Ireland squad

Goalkeepers: Randolph (Middlesbrough), Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Elliot (Newcastle United), Doyle (Bradford City)

Defenders: Christie (Middlesbrough), Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), McShane (Reading), Keogh (Derby County), Duffy (Brighton), Clark (Newcastle United), O'Shea (Sunderland), K Long (Burnley), Ward (Burnley)

Midfielders: McGeady (Sunderland), Horgan (Preston), Browne (Preston), Whelan (Aston Villa), Hourihane (Aston Villa), Arter (Bournemouth), McCarthy (Everton), Brady (Burnley), Hendrick (Burnley), O'Kane (Leeds United), Meyler (Hull City), Hoolahan (Norwich City), O'Dowda (Bristol City), Hayes (Celtic), McClean (West Bromwich Albion)

Forwards: Long (Southampton), Murphy (Nottingham Forest), McGoldrick (Ipswich Town), Maguire (Preston), Scott Hogan (Aston Villa), O'Brien (Millwall)

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