As the double-header with Georgia and Moldova edges closer - games which already have an ominous must-win air hanging over them - the Irish squad has been beset with a number of injuries. As a result, Martin O'Neill has called up two uncapped players: Aberdeen's Adam Rooney and Man City 'keeper Ian Lawlor.
O'Neill has been dealt a blow with injuries to Anthony Pilkington, Marc Wilson and Stephen Quinn, the latter who so impressed Eamon Dunphy in the 2-2 draw with Serbia. Keiren Westwood has also withdrawn from the squad, as has Daryl Murphy, so Ian Lawlor and Adam Rooney have been called up as back-up for each respective position.
Adam Rooney and Ian Lawlor called into ROI squad and among 25 training in Abbotstown. Daryl Murphy (ankle) also out of both WC qualifiers.
— Philip Quinn (@Quinner61) October 3, 2016
Ian Lawlor has sat on the Irish bench before: he was called up in Rob Elliot's absence for 2014 friendlies against Italy, Costa Rica and Portugal. Lawlor is currently on loan from Manchester City at Bury, the club with whom he impressed last season, and was the hero in an FA Cup penalty shoot-out on his debut.
Delighted to be called into @FAIreland senior squad! ⚽️🍀
— Ian Lawlor (@Ianlawlor) October 3, 2016
Lawlor is now back at Bury on loan, but was given the chance to impress Pep Guardiola on City's recent pre-season tour.
Ian Lawlor has appeared five times for the Irish Under-21s since 2014.
Rooney, meanwhile, has a pretty astonishing scoring record at Aberdeen: he has scored 48 goals in 85 league appearances since 2014, and has hit six goals so far this season. Rooney has also featured in a senior squad before: he was part of Martin O'Neill's 37-man preliminary squad for 2015 qualifiers against Georgia and Gibraltar. He has been capped nine times with the Irish under-21s.
One Irish under-21 international on loan from Man City who has perhaps surprisingly yet to receive a senior call-up is Jack Byrne, who has been struggling to make an impact at Blackburn Rovers, thus depriving us of headlines along the lines of Jack Byrne Rovers. You can read more about his failure to make an impact at Ewood Park here.
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