Paul McShane has scored a thunderbolt in Ireland training

Ireland may be short on attacking options, but Martin O'Neill probably wasn't expecting Paul McShane to be the man to put up his hand for a forward role, writes Stephen Barry.

With injuries to Jon Walters and Sean Maguire limiting Ireland's options, the manager would've been hoping to see fireworks from Shane Long, without a goal since February 2017, or Daryl Murphy, who is returning from a heel injury.

Instead it was Reading captain who lit up social media with a left-footed thunderbolt.

What a strike from Paul McShane in training today! #COYBIG

A post shared by FAIreland (@faireland) on

McShane hasn't played a competitive minute for Ireland since Thierry Henry's 'Hand of Gaul' handball incident against France in the 2009 World Cup play-offs, where McShane took some flak for being the nearest player to Henry.

However, he could provide back-up for an Irish back-four which all are carrying the possibility of suspension should they pick-up a yellow card in the play-off first leg against Denmark.

John O'Shea and Paul McShane. Pic: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Ireland are also without the injured Seamus Coleman and Richard Keogh in defence.


 

By Stephen Barry

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