Irish manager Mick McCarthy has outlined that Wolves defender Matt Doherty may get his chance at left-back should he be fit, for the next qualifier against Georgia.
The Boys in Green will be without their first choice in that position after Sheffield United’s Enda Stevens received a yellow card putting him out of October’s trip to Tbilisi.
This leaves McCarthy with a selection headache given the fact that Stevens has nailed down the spot over the past few games since breaking into the team.
Blackburn Rovers defender Greg Cunningham is an option at left-back although he is not involved in the current squad, and Stoke City midfielder James McClean has operated in the position for his club.
Stephen Ward had been Ireland’s first choice there before announcing his international retirement, but is another option should McCarthy decide to bring him back into the fold.
The Irish boss however explained that he wouldn’t be using tomorrow night’s friendly against Bulgaria to try out the likes of Cunningham or even McClean explaining that he may make a surprise selection at left-back.
“I was asked about James McClean but no I won’t be playing him there. I got asked about Stephen Ward, of course I know him. Greg Cunningham too.
“I don’t need to see any of those players to road test them at all. Whoever plays there tomorrow might be a surprise, we’ll wait and see.”
Another option McCarthy could look at for Georgia in October is Wolves defender Matt Doherty, who missed the Swiss game due to a knee injury.
Doherty has struggled to nail down a spot in the Irish starting XI given the fact that he is behind captain Seamus Coleman in the right-back pecking order and he has failed to impress when pushed further forward at international level.
The 27-year-old has featured on the left for Wolves in previous seasons looking comfortable occupying that role both defensively and going forward.
McCarthy name checked him and suggested that, should he recover from his injury, he would be a consideration in the role.
“Yeah he had about two seasons playing at left-back for Wolves so of course he’s a consideration, let’s hope he’s fit and his knee is ok.”
The Irish manager is expected to make wholesale changes ahead of tomorrow’s game against Bulgaria with it being the perfect opportunity for him to get a good look at some of the fringe players in his squad.