Murphy boost for Irish
Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Joe Murphy returned to training on Thursday ahead of Saturday's clash with France.
Last Updated: 12/11/09 3:29pm
Goalkeeper Joe Murphy returned to training on Thursday as the Republic of Ireland continued their preparations for Saturday's clash with France.
Murphy sat out the latter part of Wednesday's training session after picking up a knock, but he was able to return to action on Thursday.
The news is a boost for Republic coach Giovanni Trapattoni having already lost Coventry's Keiren Westwood to injury.
Scunthorpe keeper Murphy and his namesake Brian Murphy of Bohemians will provide cover for Shay Given for the World Cup play-off with France.
GuttedMeanwhile, Reading striker Shane Long has spoken of his "massive disappointment" at missing out on the France tie.
Long was forced to pull out of the squad with an ankle injury joining fellow forwards Noel Hunt and Caleb Folan in missing the play-off encounters through injury.
"It's a massive disappointment for me because Noel is injured and Caleb Folan is also out so I think I could have been in with a really good shot. It's unfortunate timing but I just hope the boys can do what's necessary," said Long.
"I'm definitely going to Dublin to watch the game. I'll be there on Saturday to give the lads my full support.
"It's a massive game for the country and Croke Park will be manic. I would love to be a part of it so hopefully the players will do the business and get us to South Africa so that I can be part of the World Cup squad."