Duo out for Irish
By Peter ORourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Stephen Carr and Jonathan Douglas have withdrawn from the Republic of Ireland squad.
Stephen Carr and Jonathan Douglas have withdrawn from the Republic of Ireland squad to face San Marino.
Newcastle defender Carr has been forced out with a thigh problem he picked up in training, while Leeds ace Douglas is struggling with a hamstring injury.
Republic boss Steve Staunton has drafted in Luton's Kevin Foley as cover for Carr and he admitted it was a blow to lose Carr and Douglas.
"Unfortunately Stephen pulled a thigh muscle, so he is to return to Newcastle, while Jonathan has a hamstring problem," said Staunton.
"It seems as if the (injury) curse is with us again. We've another batch of injuries.
"There's nothing we can do about it, so it's a great opportunity for the younger element to show us what they can do."
Staunton has problems in attack with Kevin Doyle and Stephen Elliott both missing through injury.
The likes of Anthony Stokes, Shane Long and Andy Keogh are all pushing for a debut, but Staunton may yet partner Damien Duff alongside Robbie Keane up front.
"They're all looking sharp, but don't forget Damien has played up there as well, so you never know," added Staunton.
Staunton is expecting nothing less than a comfortable win against minnows San Marino on Wednesday night.
"We have to win every game. It's as simple as that," said Staunton.
"Every Irish team has to go into the game playing at a high tempo, although we do have to be patient with our passing.
"But we need to keep up that high tempo for as long as possible because our fitness levels should be better than theirs.
"With the quality we have, that should see us through and we should have enough to win the game, and that's all I'm concerned about."