Martin O’Neill is confident that Shane Long remains very much in contention to play in Saturday’s Nations League encounter with Denmark.
The Southampton striker was not present at Tuesday’s training session and the manager confirmed that Long needed to be assessed as a result of a reaction to his ankle following his game at the weekend.
Long came on as a substitute for the Saints in the defeat to Chelsea, and while the Tipperary native was not present at the session in the Aviva, which was open to the public, the manager confirmed that the player is confident of being available.
"Very much so," said O’Neill, speaking at the post-training press conference.
"It’s not that sore, it is just puffed up. It may be a matter of resting it for a day or two. But he thinks that he should be okay.
Saturday’s game is the first part of a home double header, as Ireland face Denmark before entertaining Wales at the Lansdowne Road venue on Tuesday night, and the manager admitted that he is not looking beyond the first fixture.
"We got beaten by Wales, they lost to Denmark, so it is up to us to try to get it back to level pegging in the group.
"But we will take it on its own merit, let’s just deal with this game."
And on that note, the manager was asked how much of a blow would it be to Denmark if Christian Eriksen is ruled out, with rumours circulating that the Danish talisman will be missing.
O’Neill, naturally, spoke of the effect on his own team when vital players are missing, most notably Seamus Coleman, "one of the best defenders in Europe".
And the Derry native also appeared a touch sceptical as to whether or not the Tottenham midfielder would be named in the visiting XI come Saturday night.
"He is a very influential player. If he is missing, it will be a blow to them and a boost to us," O’Neill conceded.
With the two most recent competitive encounters very much in the mind of all involved with the Ireland team, the manager was asked whether he feared for his job should results go against his side over the next seven days.
O’Neill highlighted all the positives that he has brought to this Ireland set-up, saying "we qualified for the Euros...then we were fourth seeds and then we got to the World Cup play-offs".
"I don't really fear for the job but there is always pressure," added O’Neill.
The manager was pushed further on the situation and the visibly irked O’Neill stated that his intention is to try to secure qualification to the upcoming European Championships.
"Do you know what I really do think?" said O’Neill.
"I had a possibility of leaving, but I thought I'd like to stay on to see if we qualify for 2020... We'll see what happens."