Republic of Ireland boss Stephen Kenny insisted Brighton attacker Aaron Connolly is not sharp enough to feature for in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers after picking up a slight heel injury.

At the same time Kenny was speaking to the press at Abbottstown on Thursday, Connolly's club manager Graham Potter suggested his omission from the national squad was Kenny's call rather than exclusively down to what he described as a "minor" problem.

Connolly, who recently played the full 90 minutes for the Seagulls in their Carabao Cup defeat to Leicester, was subsequently unavailable for the league game against Liverpool. Kenny spoke to the player yesterday and said: "I went to Leicester last week to watch Aaron and Shane Duffy play. He's had a heel issue since then. He hasn't been able to train at all.

"I spoke to Graham midweek. He hasn’t been training for Brighton. Aaron didn’t feel he was right. Technically he could possibly be available for next Thursday but he hasn't been training at all."

Meanwhile Potter commented: "The heel injury after the Leicester game was only minor but the game against Liverpool came too soon. I imagine he'll be frustrated and disappointed not to play for his country because he wants to do that but at the same time he'll respect the decision of Stephen.

"That's life. You have to play, you have to accept the coach makes those decisions. That's what Aaron does."

Jamie McGrath has overcome a hip problem

St Mirren midfielder Jamie McGrath is named after overcoming a hip problem and Will Keane has retained his place in the group.

Jayson Molumby and Alan Browne are back in the squad after being unavailable for the last window.

Harry Arter has been omitted along with Cyrus Christie and Liam Scales.

McGrath sustained a hip injury against Rangers two weeks ago but a scan later showed the damage was not as bad as initially feared.

Stephen Kenny is due to speak to the media shortly as he explains his picks for the upcoming games.

Matt Doherty has recovered from a hamstring strain, while Caoimhin Kelleher (illness) and Jason Knight (thigh) are both okay after short spells on the sidelines. Troy Parrott, who missed MK Dons' win over Crewe last Saturday, is also in the squad.

Ireland go into Tuesday night's clash with Portugal off the back of two morale-boosting wins. They earned their first victory in the qualifiers away to Azerbaijan last month before trouncing Qatar 4-0 in a friendly.

It's enhanced confidence in the camp and buoyed the supporters too. With sporting venues allowed to operate at 100% capacity again, the Aviva Stadium is a complete sell-out for the visit of the Portuguese.

Cristiano Ronaldo broke Irish hearts in September when he scored two late goals to deny Kenny's men a famous win; the Manchester United superstar continues to be the main man for club and country and will be aiming to add to his remarkable haul of 115 international goals at Lansdowne Road.

Ireland will finish their qualification campaign on Sunday away to Luxembourg, who plundered a 1-0 win in Dublin, a result Kenny afterwards called "unacceptable". His side are fourth in the five-team Group A, one point behind Luxembourg.

Goalkeepers: Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Gavin Bazunu (Portsmouth, on loan from Manchester City), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth).

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Ryan Manning (Swansea City), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), James McClean (Wigan Athletic), Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion), John Egan (Sheffield United), Andrew Omobamidele (Norwich City), Nathan Collins (Burnley).

Midfielders: Conor Hourihane (Sheffield United, on loan from Aston Villa), Josh Cullen (Anderlecht), Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United), Jason Knight (Derby County), Jayson Molumby (West Bromwich Albion, on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Jamie McGrath (St. Mirren).

Forwards: Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion), Troy Parrott (MK Dons, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Adam Idah (Norwich City), James Collins (Cardiff City), Will Keane (Wigan Athletic), Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham United), Daryl Horgan (Wycombe Wanderers).