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Stephen Carr is despondent to miss the start of the season — including Ireland’s biggest game for years.
Our outstanding defender was yesterday ruled out of Mick McCarthy’s Irish squad for next weekend’s World Cup qualifier against Holland.
If Ireland win, they will guarantee a play-off spot in the group and still have an outside chance of going through to the finals outright if Portugal slip up.
But Steve will miss out. He has a nagging knee injury that ruled him out of the final weeks of pre-season, our opening Premiership fixtures and now international duty.
He explained: “I’ve been told to completely rest and do nothing with my lower body. Hopefully it will calm down. How long that will take I don’t know, hopefully not too long.
“It’s disappointing because I’ve missed the start of the season with it.
“It’s a very big season for us all. After playing a good few games in pre-season and getting my fitness levels relatively high and then having to stop and do nothing is quite difficult.
“It’s wear and tear, a lot of games, a lot of training and it’s just given me a bit of grief.
“It’s been there for a while but I thought it would go away but it hasn’t and so now I have to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t go chronic. Hopefully I’ve got it in the nick of time.”
Steve knows Ireland are in for a tricky test against the Dutch — not least after their impressive show in last week’s friendly win against England at the Lane.
“It will be difficult,” he said. “We’ve Holland next and we need at least a draw and then beat Cyprus at home to get second place.
“If Holland have a full side out it will be very difficult. They have to go for it and need the win so there is a lot of work to be done.
“I hope we do it. We’ve topped the group for a long time and it would be nice to qualify. They are a very good team, quality players all over. It will be a tough one.”