Brady's versatility a plus for Ireland

Robbie Brady dances through to score against Blackburn Rovers
Robbie Brady dances through to score against Blackburn Rovers

Clarets wideman Robbie Brady's versatility could be a bonus for the Republic of Ireland, after the injury to best pal Jeff Hendrick.

Ahead of the crucial World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Serbia, boss Martin O'Neill faces a series of decisions in midfield, where Everton's James McCarthy has been ruled out of both games, and Burnley's Hendrick will certainly not figure against Georgia, although there remains an outside chance that he could return to face group leaders Serbia.

Brady has played in central midfield for his country, as well as left back and his more orthodox wide role, and O'Neill said: "Jeff hasn't ruled himself out for the second game.

"He had an injection on Friday, he felt much better on Sunday - I was speaking to him yesterday - and while the Saturday game might come too early for him, if he is feeling half-decent during the week, he might put himself forward.

"We'll see how that goes. That might be optimistic on my part, it might be optimistic on Jeff's part, but he certainly hasn't ruled himself out completely for next week."

And should Brady be required to step inside, O'Neill is happy to see him ready and in good form for his club, with a goal and two assists in his last two outings: "It's just generally good to see him playing well again.

"He's recovered the form that he showed - for country anyway - in the Euros and he's just getting his confidence back again.

"Wherever we decide to play him, I don't think one, he will complain - but he wouldn't complain anyway - and two, I think he would be reasonably happy with it."

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