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Martin O’Neill finds it all ‘A wee bit strange’ at Newcastle United

6 years ago

Martin O’Neill says he finds it all a ‘wee bit strange’ that Rob Elliot ‘trained well’ for Newcastle and then gave a man of the match performance against Bournemouth, yet now he may not be fit enough to play for his country.

The Republic of Ireland take on their double header play-off with Bosnia-Herzegovina for a place in the Euros in the coming week.

Friday 10 November sees them travel to Zelina for the first leg, then the final reckoning is in Dublin on Monday 16 November.

Martin O’Neill has named Rob Elliot in the squad and expects him to join up after the player’s scheduled visit to see a specialist yesterday (Monday).

Martin O’Neill:

“I find this one a wee bit strange when Rob (Elliot) actually played the game and was man of the match.

“He is being assessed by a specialist again today and we will get an update with him either later on this evening or maybe tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.”

After the win at Bournemouth, this is what Steve McClaren had to say about Rob Elliot joining up with the Republic of Ireland:

“I hope not and I don’t think so. He is the man in goal at the moment and we want to wrap him in cotton wool, try to get him out for the next game.

“He was so positive from Monday because we were wondering what to do. He was so positive to play that we gave him every chance, every opportunity, and then on Friday he trained well. I thought he was excellent.”

No doubt Steve McClaren will be called a hypocrite after having been on the other side of the fence with England and no doubt making the same kind of arguments as Martin O’Neill.

If this was just a friendly then of course it would be a nonsense to expect Rob Elliot to join his international colleagues.

However, it is such a massive chance for Rob Elliot that you would think he would be busting a gut to be involved in these play-offs.

With Shay Given out injured long-term it does open up possibilities but if Elliot doesn’t join the squad, it is hard to see him being involved in France next summer if they do qualify.

As for Newcastle United, if the keeper stays on Tyneside then they run the risk of Ireland enforcing the rule where they could stop Rob Elliot from turning out in the Leicester match in 11 days time, due to not being available through ‘injury’ for the internationals.


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