Ireland boss drops Doherty

New Republic of Ireland manager Steve Staunton has omitted Norwich City defender Gary Doherty from his first squad.

New Republic of Ireland manager Steve Staunton has omitted Norwich City defender Gary Doherty from his first squad.

Doherty's international career suffered a major set-up when he failed to make the 23-strong party for the friendly with Sweden at Lansdowne Road on March 1.

The City star was a regular in the Republic squad under Staunton's predecessor Brian Kerr, but was used primarily as a substitute and made the majority of his appearances as a makeshift striker. In total he has made 30 appearances for his country, scoring four goals.

The new manager has named five new faces for his first game in charge - Manchester City youngster Stephen Ireland, Bolton midfielder Joey O'Brien, Tottenham full-back Stephen Kelly, Sunderland winger Liam Lawrence and Brighton goalkeeper Wayne Henderson.


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He has also included Jonathan Douglas, the Blackburn midfielder on loan with Leeds at present, whose only other two previous caps were won in 2004.

Reading striker Kevin Doyle, who was included in the squad for Kerr's final two games in charge last October - World Cup qualifiers against Cyprus and Switzerland - but never played, is one of six non-capped players.

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Manchester United midfielder John O'Shea and Sunderland striker Stephen Elliott are also in the squad, despite having rib and back injuries at present, although the former returned to light training this week.

Staunton said: “I have been looking at a lot of players very closely over the last month and the time is right to give some new lads the opportunity to play at senior level.

“This has been a while coming, but I think we have a nice blend of experience, youth and new faces.

“I've said from day one this is what we have to look at. We have two friendly matches before the European Championships start, so it has to be done sooner rather than later.”

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