Head coach explains absence of Olsson and Tamas
JONAS Olsson and Gabriel Tamas were the only absentees as the first-team squad landed in the Republic of Ireland this morning ahead of tonight’s pre-season friendly at Cork City (ko 7.45pm).
Olsson is fully fit but has made a pre-arranged trip to Sweden to see a tendon specialist while Tamas has stayed behind for treatment on a knee problem.
Head coach Steve Clarke otherwise has a full complement to choose from – including current Ireland favourite and ex-Cork striker Shane Long plus former Ireland international Steven Reid.
New signing Diego Lugano has also made the trip but won’t be involved.
Clarke explained: “Jonas had a really tough year last season, playing a full campaign for the club on the back of Euro 2012.
“The next 12 months promise to be just as demanding for him if Sweden qualify for the World Cup.
“Given the fact Jonas was ruled out for around ten weeks a couple of seasons ago with an Achilles problem, we thought it would be wise to be proactive ahead of what could be another long year for him.
“With guidance from the specialist, we’re hoping to help him manage the workload his body will be taking on.
“Gabi tweaked his knee during training on Sunday and has stayed behind for treatment.
“Diego has only trained with the rest of the squad a couple of times so he won’t be involved tonight, but being around the rest of the players will undoubtedly speed up the settling in process.”