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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Mark McCadden

Stephen Kenny calls up Mark Sykes, loses strikers Scott Hogan and Will Keane for Norway and Malta friendlies

Stephen Kenny has called Bristol City winger Mark Sykes into the Ireland squad for the friendlies against Norway on Thursday and Malta next Sunday.

Sykes has been drafted in after injury ruled Birmingham City’s Scott Hogan and Wigan striker Will Keane out of the squad through injury.

The Boys in Green are at home to Norway on Thursday and away to Malta next Sunday.

READ MORE: Derry City's £1 million kid Mark Connolly on a career of ups and downs

Kenny spoke at last week’s squad announcement about his hopes this window for Birmingham’s Hogan - so his absence will be a blow.

“Scott’s rate of improvement has been quite dramatic, because he was playing at Birmingham and we watched him quite a lot when we weren’t selecting him,” he said.

“This season he was unlucky not to feature really… he probably was fitter in the last window, he was unlucky not to feature more, because Troy (Parrott) and Michael (Obafemi) had earned the right, because they got the goals against Scotland and had good performances going into the last window. Scott was probably unlucky not to feature more.

“Certainly he has been in the best form I have ever seen him in, in recent times.

“Obviously he had a very good spell early in his career at Brentford, a prolific spell. But I wouldn't have seen a lot of it at that stage, I would have seen bits and pieces of him playing at that level.

“His spell now is as good as I’ve seen him play. He is really light and doing well. We’ll see how that goes.”


Goalkeepers : Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Gavin Bazunu (Southampton), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth).

Defenders : Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Nathan Collins (Wolverhampton Wanderers), John Egan (Sheffield United), Dara O'Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Darragh Lenihan (Middlesbrough), Liam Scales (Aberdeen, on loan from Celtic), James McClean (Wigan Athletic), Robbie Brady (Preston North End), Mark Sykes (Bristol City).

Midfielders : Josh Cullen (Burnley), Jeff Hendrick (Reading, on loan from Newcastle United), Jayson Molumby (West Bromwich Albion), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Will Smallbone (Stoke City, on loan from Southampton), Jamie McGrath (Dundee United).

Forwards : Michael Obafemi (Swansea City), Callum Robinson (Cardiff City), Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham United), Evan Ferguson (Brighton and Hove Albion), Callum O'Dowda (Cardiff City).


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