Mick McCarthy reveals why Aaron Connolly injury is such a big blow for Ireland

Brighton and Hove Albion striker Aaron Connolly sustained a groin injury against Manchester United and is ruled out for the Republic of Ireland
Brighton and Hove Albion striker Aaron Connolly sustained a groin injury against Manchester United and is ruled out for the Republic of Ireland

Brighton and Hove Albion striker Aaron Connolly is out of Republic of Ireland’s critically important European Championship qualifier with Denmark on Monday.

Connolly injured his groin during Albion’s 3-1 loss in the Premier League at Manchester United last Sunday.

The 19-year-old was taken off at half-time and a scan revealed the problem was enough to prevent him from joining up with Mick McCarthy’s team.

Connolly’s Albion teammate Shane Duffy is in the squad and is expected to play on Monday. Victory against Denmark in Dublin will ensure qualification for the Irish.

McCarthy was clearly hopeful last Monday that Connolly could play given that the match was then a week away.

However, after seeing the results of the scan performed on the player by Brighton, both medical teams agreed the problem is serious enough for the striker to be ruled out.

McCarthy said, “Our team doctor Alan Byrne has spoken to the Brighton medical team and had a look at the scans [which] have confirmed the groin injury and Aaron won’t be ready in time.”

McCarthy had suggested the teenager would be a loss, despite his very limited experience at this level. “The Georgia game, his cameo appearance was by far better than his other appearance in Switzerland, but that could be said of all of us,” he said.

“But you can see what he brings in those 12 or 15 minutes, when he came on [in Georgia]. He’s really added something to the squad.”

Albion will hope their striker, who has two league goals to his name this season, will be fit to face Leicester at the Amex on Saturday November 23. Skipper Lewis Dunk is suspended after a fifth booking at United.