Staunton turns to youth
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Steve Staunton says injuries are wrecking his plans for Ireland's qualifier with the Czechs.
Steve Staunton has revealed injuries are continuing to wreck his plans for Republic of Ireland's Euro 2008 qualifier with Czech Republic.
Prior to Saturday's disastrous 5-2 defeat in Cyprus, Staunton was already without several senior figures in his squad.
But since that loss, the Irish coach's options have been further depleted, with Aidan McGeady, Paddy Kenny, Andy O'Brien and Stephen Ireland joining the sick list.
Celtic starlet McGeady has gone to hospital after hurting his ankle, and Staunton was only in a position to outline his defence for Wednesday's game, live on Sky Sports 2.
"I'm not going to make excuses, but I don't think many countries can cope with the amount of injuries we've had," Staunton told a press conference on Sky Sports News.
"Unfortunately, it looks as if we've just had another one. That's the luck at the moment.
"He's (McGeady) going to hospital now for an X-ray and it looks as if he's very doubtful. It's just typical of what is happening, it was a freak accident.
"Stephen Ireland's gone with a hamstring, Paddy Kenny is feeling his hamstring and has gone back to his club.
"Andy (O'Brien) is going to stay with us, but his ankle is too sore and swollen so we've lost him. (Kevin) Doyle has gone back to his club, he'd have no chance.
"I will give you the back four - Steve Finnan, Paul McShane, John O'Shea and Stephen Kelly. Outside of that, don't go there because I can't tell you any more until I get an update on the rest."
With several youngsters likely to be required for the meeting with the Czechs, Staunton has urged the fervent Irish support to rally behind the team.
He added: "I would like to ask for the Irish public to stand by us because we will get it right.
"Even at club level I have never known (such an injury crisis). It's not excuse, we have to get on with it.
"It's a great opportunity for the likes of Paul McShane and the Under-21s coming through.
"Fortunately, or unfortunately, they are getting their chance a little bit earlier than I anticipated and probably what they anticipated.
"It's a great opportunity for them and it's the next step in their learning curve. They have to gain experience.
"We will be trying our hardest for the supporters, we know what the supporters put into it.
"They are great supporters. I would appeal to them to stick with us. We have young lads in there doing their utmost for that green jersey."