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O´Neill hopeful as O´Shea and Long resume training

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 15 Nov 2015

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John O’Shea and Shane Long remain in contention for the second leg of Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2016 play-off against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Martin O’Neill’s side take a 1-1 scoreline back to Dublin for Monday’s return match, Robbie Brady’s 82nd-minute goal on the counter-attack having been cancelled out three minutes later by Bosnia captain Edin Dzeko.

It was an impressive performance by Ireland amid heavy fog in Zenica on Friday and O’Neill will assess the prospects of experienced defender O’Shea and striker Long bolstering their number after the duo trained on Sunday.

O’Shea was suspended for the first game but has not played since suffering a hamstring injury in Sunderland’s derby win over Newcastle United in the Premier League last month.

Long memorably fired a shocked winner to sink world champions Germany 1-0 at the Aviva Stadium in Ireland’s penultimate qualifier before sustaining an ankle injury next time out against Poland.

“John has done a significant amount of work during the week, Shane perhaps less so,” O’Neill told a news conference.

“The very fact that they’re here is good news for us and we’ll see how they feel.

“I think both are upbeat. I have to keep in mind that they haven’t played in the last couple of weeks, but of course, I have to also keep in mind players being fresh again and a few other considerations as well.”

Brady’s away goal gives the Republic a potentially decisive edge for the second match but O’Neill insists his team will not rest on their laurels.

“I think that we have to try and win the game,” he said. “That’s it. That has to be in our mind. I think Bosnia are capable of scoring. I think any team is capable of getting a goal.

“The ultimate goal doesn’t change – trying to get to France. For ourselves and Bosnia it remains the same.

“They’ll have been delighted with the equalising goal and the game is finely balanced.”

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