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11th Nov 2014

Eamon Dunphy wants Martin O’Neill to beg for Richard Dunne’s Ireland return

The RTE pundit says he was not surprised by the call-ups for David McGoldrick and Cyrus Christie

Patrick McCarry

Eamon Dunphy believes Ireland boss Martin O’Neill should call QPR defender Richard Dunne and beg him to dig his country out of a defensive crisis.

The football pundit, speaking on RTÉ’s Game On, has urged O’Neill to draft Dunne in for Friday’s European Championship Qualifier against Scotland at Celtic Park. Marc Wilson, who was John O’Shea’s most recent centre-back partner, pulled his hamstring at the weekend and will miss the game. It appears likely that Derby County’s Richard Keogh will start in the heart of the Irish defence.

Dunphy proclaimed, ‘I tell you what, I’ve watched Richard Dunne over the last four games and he has been absolutely brilliant. I would pick up the phone and say “Richard, please. It’s just for this game” and I think he’d do it. He has been absolutely magnificent for QPR.

Harry Redknapp left him out for a few games and they got tonked. He brought him back in and he has been the mainstay of that defence. I know Richard would not say no if he got the call… We need him and I think he would do it.’

Dunphy insists he was not surprised O’Neill had called uncapped duo David McGoldrick and Cyrus Christie into his squad. Mistaking Christie for Derby midfielder Jeff Hendrick, the pundit noted a brace scored against Wolves as a sign of recent form. ‘I think Martin needs to reinforce the original squad,’ he added.

Dunphy believes the FAI were right to ask James McCarthy, who is an injury doubt, to travel from club side Everton for a fitness assessment. Roberto Martinez, he declared, ‘has form’ in withdrawing players from squads only to play them for the Toffees soon after. ‘I have to say, if it is a hamstring then he must be a serious doubt.’

Asked about the comments of for Scotland international Gordon McQueen, who suggested McCarthy and Aiden McGeady would get a hostile reception in Glasgow, Dunphy remarked, ‘I don’t think Gordon is renowned as a sage… I think he was playing to the galleries.’

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