Trap takes punt on Long

PA Sport
Shane Long
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Shane Long

Republic of Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni has taken a chance on the fitness of Shane Long after including the West Brom striker in a 26-man squad for the Euro 2012 play-off against Estonia.

Long was initially ruled out for six weeks after sustaining a knee injury following a wild challenge from Aston Villa full-back Alan Hutton in last Saturday's Barclays Premier League game at Villa Park. But Trapattoni has nonetheless included him for the two play-off games, in Tallinn on November 11 and the return in Dublin four days later.

The Italian, who also selected Wigan midfielder James McCarthy and Stoke striker Jon Walters, said of the tie: "There is no room for complacency as we prepare for our two games next month."

He added on www.fai.ie: "We will remember that Estonia have as much right to be in the play-off as ourselves.

"They have had some very good results in their group beating Serbia and Slovenia. They also caused Italy a lot of problems.

"These games will be a huge challenge for us, and we must maintain the correct mentality from start to finish."

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