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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 22 October, 2014

We’re good to go, says Tardelli ahead of Estonian departure

Ireland’s assistant manager gave the squad a clean bill of health at Gannon Park this morning.

Marco Tardelli at a Gannon Park press briefing earlier.
Marco Tardelli at a Gannon Park press briefing earlier.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

IRELAND’S ASSISTANT MANAGER Marco Tardelli says the squad are fighting fit ahead of their departure for Tallinn this afternoon.

Giovanni Trapattoni’s side take on Estonia in the first-leg of their Euro2012 qualification play-off on Friday night.

This morning the side again trained in Malahide  and the Italian subsequently gave the squad a clean bill of health.

Senior players like Richard Dunne and Robbie Keane are fit to play and in an apparent indication of the XI that will line out, Tardelli says the decision of who will partner Robbie Keane up front – Simon Cox or Jonathon Walters - is the only one yet to be made.

Meanwhile, full back Stephen Kelly looks ready to deputise for the injured John O’Shea. And the Fulham full back insists he’s ready to take his chance in the starting side.

“Any time there’s been an opportunity for the manager to play me, he’s done so,” he told the FAI’s official website, “I played left back in last game (against Armenia) and right-back before that against Russia.

“I’ve played a lot of big games in this campaign. This has been the campaign that I’ve been able to show myself, really get to grips with it and make an impact. Hopefully, I’m able to do that in Estonia.

“We’re on the brink of a playing at major tournament and these two are the games that will get us there. If I do get to play, hopefully it’s a game I have fond memories of.”

Hot off the press: here’s what the Estonian papers are saying about Ireland

Time for Trap to take the handbrake off

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