Dundalk keeper called into Ireland squad while Robbie Keane likely to start against Oman

SoccerBy Sunday World
Robbie Keane and Shane Long during Ireland training in Dublin yesterday
Robbie Keane and Shane Long during Ireland training in Dublin yesterday

Dundalk goalkeeper Gary Rogers has been called into the Ireland squad for tomorrow night's friendly with Oman and next Monday's World Cup qualifier in Serbia after David Forde opted to pull out.

Forde has decided to stay in England in order to keep his place with his new loan club, Portsmouth, with the League Two side playing this weekend.

Rogers has trained with the squad over the last year and was on the bench for the friendly with Holland in May.

O'Neill has spoken with Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny and wants to bring Rogers to Serbia as cover for Darren Randolph and Keiren Westwood if the League of Ireland champions agree.

They have league fixtures with Bohemians on Friday and away in Sligo next Tuesday which would mean a hectic schedule for the 34-year-old.

The Ireland boss said that he wanted to bring some other members of Kenny's squad in to train with the group this week but their hectic schedule arising from European commitments prevented him from being able to do so. "They've carried the flag here and they've been brilliant," said O'Neill.

Meanwhile,the Ireland manager will allow players to leave the camp if they have the possibility of securing a transfer before the close of the window.

Hull are in talks with Derby County over a move for Jeff Hendrick which could lead to the Dubliner travelling to England to complete a medical.  Burnley are also understood to still be interested in signing Hendrick.

O'Neill has no issue if individuals are called away ahead of tomorrow night's friendly with Oman at the Aviva Stadium. Robbie Brady could also be affected if a late move comes to pass.

"It's not a problem at all," he said,  "If anything like that happens to any of the players.

"They have permission to go because they are trying to get their futures sorted out.

"While it might be an awkward time, it's inevitable. I really don't know (what will happen) at the moment."

Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy will miss the Oman game through injury as they seek to prove their fitness for next Monday's qualifier in Serbia. John O'Shea has arrived late with the camp and remains a doubt.

O'Neill gave the strongest hint possible that Robbie Keane will start his farewell match. Shay Given has also been invited back for a non-playing role in the occasion, with the Irish boss stating that the Donegal man did not wish to take the limelight away from the man of the moment.

Daniel McDonnell