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Wilder provides Stevens injury...
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Wilder provides Stevens injury update after half-time substitution

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

18:17 22 Feb 2020

Enda Stevens has emerged as a possible injury worry for Ireland's do-or-die Euro 2020 playoff against Slovakia in just over a month's time.

The Sheffield United full-back has been in flying form in his first Premier League season with the club and scored the Blades' opening goal against Brighton.

Finding himself on the end of a loose cross in the box, the former Shamrock Rovers man rifled the ball in at the near post to score Sheffield's only goal in the 1-1 draw.

However, an encouraging opening 45 minutes couldn't be built on as a calf injury prevented the 29-year-old coming out for the second half.

Speaking after the game, Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder was hopeful of a swift return: “Enda had a tight calf before half-time,” he said.

“We will assess him and hopefully he won’t be out for too long.”

The news could be a worry for Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy who thought he had finally found a mainstay at - a position that had long been a weak point in the team.

Possible Replacements

If Stevens is to miss out on the Slovakia first leg on 26th March, McCarthy could turn to either Derrick Williams or Robbie Brady to fill in.

Brady, naturally an attacking midfielder, has filled in at left-back before and could provide a more experienced option compared to Williams.

Williams can operate as a more natural full-back but has just three caps to his name. More alarmingly though, Williams appears to have fallen out of favour at Blackburn Rovers having not played since St. Stephen's day against Birmingham.

A possible headache for McCarthy is further compounded by Brady's own lack of game time, too. The Burnley midfielder hasn't featured in the Premier League since his side's New Year's Day loss to Aston Villa.

Otherwise, Lee O'Connor could have an outside chance of conclusion. The 19-year old Celtic left-back is currently on loan at Partick Thistle and showed spells of good play in his international debut against New Zealand last November.

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Enda Stevens Euro 2020 Republic Of Ireland Sheffield United

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