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Injury doubts as O'Neill contemplates Ireland play-off

Martin O'Neill said he is delighted the Republic of Ireland's play-off second leg will be at home as he named a provisional squad with doubts over John O'Shea and Shane Long.

Martin O'Neill announces his provisional squad for the UEFA EURO 2016 play-offs
Martin O'Neill announces his provisional squad for the UEFA EURO 2016 play-offs ©Sportsfile

Republic of Ireland coach Martin O'Neill says his side will do "all they can" to secure a place at UEFA EURO 2016 after naming a provisional squad for next month's play-off with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

O'Neill has selected 39 players, a total which will be reduced before they meet Bosnia and Herzegovina competitively for the first time, in Zenica on 13 November. The Dublin return takes place three nights later. "Our fate is in our own hands and we will be doing all we can to qualify for the finals," said O'Neill.

"We will play the second leg at home and that is a big plus for us because the Irish supporters were fantastic in our last game there against Germany and we know there will be a similar atmosphere for this play-off."

O'Neill on play-off draw

Due to suspension, Jonathan Walters and John O'Shea, who had started in every game in the qualifying group stage, are suspended for the first leg. But O'Shea is also an injury doubt after he picked up a hamstring strain while on duty for Sunderland.

Shane Long, who scored the winning goal against Germany earlier this month, has been sidelined for Southampton since he suffered an ankle injury in the defeat by Poland which sent Ireland into the play-offs.

"I think it will be touch and go," O'Neill said of Long, adding that O'Shea is also a worry. "All hamstrings are concerning. Time will tell but we'll give it every single possibility."

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