Martin O’Neill could turn be ready to turn to strikers Scott Hogan and Sean Maguire to fix his Ireland side’s goalscoring problems.
O’Neill’s men have found the net just twice in four games at home during the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, and one point from the last two matches has left them needing to beat Moldova and Wales just to have a chance of reaching the playoffs.
With none of Shane Long, Jonathan Walters or Daryl Murphy particularly prolific right now, O’Neill has suggested that the Championship forwards, of Aston Villa and Preston respectively, could be called upon to face Moldova and/or Wales next month:
“I think [Hogan] could be ready for that.
“While you would like people like Hogan and young Maguire to come into the squad and maybe have a little look round for a while, it’s asking a lot to go in.
“But we’ll see, you never know what the month might bring in terms of players playing a bit of extra football at club level, even in the Championship.
“And maybe they will be ready for it. “
The manager recently confirmed that Hogan had pledged his international allegiance to Ireland over the summer, but is yet to receive his Irish passport to rubber-stamp his eligibility. Maguire, meanwhile, was named in the provisional squad for the previous two qualifiers but failed to make the cut, and despite Roy Keane hinting that the ex-Cork City striker could be drafted into the squad to face Serbia, that came to nothing in the end.