Euro 2016: Martin O'Neill says James McCarthy's Republic squad spot secure

Shay Given and James McCarthy sat out Republic of Ireland training on Wednesday
Shay Given may feature against the Dutch on Friday but James McCarthy is unlikely to be risked

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill has eased concerns over James McCarthy's fitness for Euro 2016.

The Everton midfielder's thigh injury has prevented him from training fully since he linked up with the Republic squad on Monday.

McCarthy, 25, may not be risked in Friday's friendly against the Netherlands but O'Neill said he would "definitely" be in his Euro 2016 squad.

"The doctor tells me he's making good progress," said O'Neill on Wednesday.

"He's got a little bit of time. He's been an important part of the team over the last two years.

"It's one of those things you just want to be right rather than rushing back."

McCarthy, who has won 33 Irish caps, missed the Euro 2012 finals to be with his ill father.

Ciaran Clark
Ciaran Clark looks certain to be named in the Republic's Euro 2016 squad

Ciaran Clark's ankle injury improving - O'Neill

O'Neill reported that Ciaran Clark's ankle injury is "improving" while Shane Long was able to train even though he still has stitches in his knee injury.

While McCarthy's squad spot is secure, the Republic boss has decisions to make over his midfield options.

Eunan O'Kane, Harry Arter, David Meyler, Stephen Quinn and Darron Gibson are all battling to impress O'Neill and the manager admitted that he has still to make up his mind on his central midfield permutations.

"That's an area we'd certainly be having a look at and we'll be looking until after the second game (against Belarus).

"There are one or two places at this minute that are still undecided.

"The players I am talking about may have not had much game time, so it is these training sessions and matches that will ultimately make my mind up."

O'Neill facing goalkeeper selections decision

O'Neill also has a decision to make on which three goalkeepers to bring to France and Shay Given may be handed an opportunity to prove his sharpness in Friday's game against the Dutch.

West Ham keeper Darren Randolph looks certain to be named in the squad with Given, Millwall's David Forde and Sheffield Wednesday's Keiren Westwood the contenders for the remaining two positions.

Given, 40, returned to Stoke duty last month after being out of action since sustaining a knee injury in the Republic's win over Germany last October.

The veteran hobbled off at half-time in Stoke's defeat by Manchester City four weeks ago but fears that he suffered a serious groin injury proved unfounded.

The Republic play the Dutch in Dublin on Friday night before facing Belarus in Cork on 31 May.

Their first match at the tournament is against Sweden in Paris on 13 June, with Belgium and Italy their other opponents in Group E.

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