Seamus Coleman might have to be content with a place on the bench for the Republic of Ireland in their European Championship qualifier against Macedonia on Saturday.
The Killybegs native sat out Tuesday’s training session at Gannon Park in Malahide and underwent a scan on a ankle knock. The injury is not anticipated to be serious and the former Sligo Rovers player should be part of the matchday squad.
It had been thought the Coleman, who manager Giovanni Trapattoni had previously said he sees more of a full-back than a right-midfielder, might slot into the right-back position normally occupied by John O’Shea. The Manchester United utility player is an absentee having picked up a hamstring injury in his club side’s 2-1 win over Olympique Marseille in the Champions’ League last 16.
However, with Coleman capped against Wales last month on the right-hand-side of midfield and having scored from that position for Everton against Fulham in the Premier League on Saturday, it appears as though the Italian has changed his mind on the matter. He hinted Kevin Foley of Wolverhampton Wanderers, who has also split his time between midfield and full-back this term, will start in the number two shirt.
“Foley is in good condition, I saw him on Saturday and I think he can play there,” Trapattoni said. “He knows the position, he has played many games there and also in midfield. It’s good because the position is important.”
Aiden McGeady of Spartak Moscow is the likeliest starter on right wing, although Liam Lawrence of Portsmouth is also in contention. Lifford’s Shay Given is out with a shoulder injury and Kieren Westwood of Coventry City will deputise.
Trapattoni also stated 20-year-old James McCarthy, who is Glasgow-born but qualifies for Ireland as his late grandfather was from Gweedore, will also have a part to play.
“He won’t start,” said Trapattoni of the Wigan Athletic midfielder, whose international future has generated so much attention over the past few months. “It would be tough for him to start immediately but for three minutes maybe he’ll play,” he continued with a smile. “I hope maybe more.”
Coleman, though, could start for Ireland in Tuesday’s international friendly against Uruguay, also at the Aviva Stadium.