It was always going to be a tough ask for Marc Wilson to return to first team football in time to prove his fitness ahead of Euro 2016. The knee injury he picked up at the end of January always looked set to end his season with Stoke and when worry turned into a reality, the Antrim man was looking like a long shot to be included in Ireland's travelling party for the summer.
However, when he was named in the squad to take on the Netherlands at the end of the week, it became increasingly possible that Wilson would be available to O'Neill this summer. It's become clear today that's not to be.
Speaking as the Ireland squad gathered for training today ahead of Friday's clash, O'Neill confirmed that any hope of Wilson being involved have already been put to bed.
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) May 23, 2016
Wilson's versatility had meant that, despite a lack of playing time this season, he had been something of a shootout with Blackburn's Shane Duffy to be named among O'Neill's central defensive options. Clark, Keogh and O'Shea are all nailed on you'd have to think and it was a matter or whether Wilson or Duffy were added to that panel. With Wilson absent however, it now looks likely that Duffy will be given the nod when O'Neill names the squad on Saturday.
Four players who are now also likely to miss out on that final squad are Paul McShane, Alex Pearce, Jonny Hayes and Anthony Pilkington after they were all dropped from the panel to face the Netherlands. All four will remain on the standby list but if there was any hope of the them making the final squad, you'd have to think that's firmly at an end now.