O'Shea fighting to be fit for Republic's crunch Euro 2016 play-off

Brendan O'Neill in Football 7 Nov 2015

Republic of Ireland defender John O'Shea is fighting to be fit for the Euro 2016 play-off against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Friday evening after suffering a recurrence of his hamstring injury.

The 34-year-old Sunderland captain has been out of action since the Black Cats 3-0 derby win over Newcastle United on October 25.

O'Shea missed the club's 6-2 demolition by Everton at Goodison Park last weekend and was again absent from their starting line-up for Saturday' Premier League defeat at home to Southampton.

A statement on the club's official website ahead of the game read: "John O'Shea and Lee Cattermole both miss out due to injury with the Republic of Ireland international suffering a recurrence of a hamstring injury picked up against Newcastle United."

Even if fit O'Shea would miss the first leg in Zenica through suspension following his sending off in Ireland's final Group D fixture in Poland last month but had hoped to return for the second leg in Dublin three days later.

The Republic travelled to Warsaw knowing victory or a 2-2 draw, or higher scoring draw, would secure automatic qualification for France next year but they came up just short, losing 2-1.