Parrott and McCarthy injury concerns as Kenny calls on O’Shea

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Stephen Kenny is hoping that James McCarthy and Troy Parrott can shake off what appear to be minor injuries and play a part as he takes a senior Republic of Ireland team into action for the first time later this week.

The pair travelled to Dublin from their UK bases this morning, along with the other 21 members of Kenny’s squad who will take on Bulgaria in Sofia on Thursday, and then follow it up with another Nations League fixture at home to Finland this day week.

McCarthy limped out of Crystal Palace’s pre-season friendly against Oxford United last Tuesday after just 20 minutes. Kenny described it as a knock to the back of the leg that was quite sore but the player will be assessed today.

“James was very keen to come back and play for Ireland,” said the manager. “It’s been a few years now since he’s played and he’s a huge addition to us, no doubt at all.”

Parrott scored his second goal for Millwall on Saturday, this one against Southend United in another friendly, after making the loan move across London from Tottenham Hotspur, but came off with 14 minutes still to play with some manner of muscle problem.

Kenny hasn’t opted to draft in any cover for either on the basis that Harry Arter, Conor Hourihane and Jayson Molumby all offer similar options in that midfield sector. One man who has been called in however is West Bromwich Albion’s Dara O’Shea.

“Dara has come through the ranks from 15s, every year,” Kenny explained. “He’s shown himself very capable of playing in all four positions really with West Brom. He’s played centre back, right back and a good bit at left back towards the end of the season.

“We’ve got one or two other injuries and strains and so forth. We’ve just given ourselves that additional cover with Dara coming in and the fact that he has played all four positions, he’s an asset.”

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