Football

Stephen Kenny Admits He Has No Idea How Shane Long Got Covid

Stephen Kenny Admits He Has No Idea How Shane Long Got Covid

The issues with covid in the Republic of Ireland camp have been well documented at this stage.

It seemed that every single international window over the course of 2020 was rocked by at least one covid case, with a number of other players then often missing out due to being classified as close contacts.

That issue seems to have eased somewhat since the turn of the year, although it did have impact in the buildup to the Portugal game earlier this week.

Shane Long had been part of the squad and trained in the buildup to the fixture, also registering two negative covid tests during this period. However, he would return a negative test on the day of the game and will now miss the rest of this international window.

Every precaution is taken during these training camps to ensure players are safe, with Stephen Kenny unsure as to how the virus has managed to make its way into the squad.

Speaking to the media ahead of tomorrow's game against Azerbaijan, the Ireland boss said Long had been very careful in attempting to avoid this very situation

Shane has to self-isolate, which is very unfortunate.

I honestly don't know how he managed to get covid. He plays guitar in his room a lot because of covid. He brought his guitar with him and he play away in his room and practices.

He's a very careful person. He always has the mask on and is a family man.

We don't know how (he got it). The virus doesn't discriminate.

We have a player who has gotten it over the last couple of weeks who was double vaccinated. Sometimes it's hard to believe.

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Shane Long was not the only covid casualty from that first game. Callum Robinson was forced to miss out after testing positive recently, while Alan Browne was self-isolating after being deemed a close contact of a case.

Neither player was part of the party that travelled to Portugal, but both (along with new Celtic signing Liam Scales) will train with the squad today ahead of the Azerbaijan game.

Kenny admitted he is unsure if the players will be fit to play tomorrow, but they would provide a boost to the squad.

Each situation is different, it's not a collective decision.

Alan Browne has had an injury as well as being a close contact, he hasn't played in a couple of weeks. He had a good start to the season, I seen him playing for Preston and he started really well.

We have to see how they train today.

Callum Robinson has been in scintillating form for West Brom this season and looked like a nailed on starter for Portugal had he been available.

Tomorrow's game could come too soon for a full 90 minutes, although you'd imagine he will play a sizeable part over the remaining two games in this window.

SEE ALSO: Here's The Ireland Team We Want To See Against Azerbaijan

Gary Connaughton

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