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Last Updated: Monday, 4 February 2008, 09:19 GMT
O'Brien retirement hits Republic
Andy O'Brien
Andy O'Brien has not played for the Republic in over a year
Republic of Ireland v Brazil
Date: Wednesday, 6 February
Kick-off: 1945 GMT
Venue: Croke Park, Dublin
BBC Coverage: Live on the BBC Sport website

The Republic of Ireland's options for Wednesday's friendly against Brazil have been further hit by Andy O'Brien's retirement from international football.

Caretaker manager Don Givens was clearly surprised by the 28-year-old's decision and has indicated that he will attempt to change the player's mind.

The Bolton player, who is replaced by Ipswich's Alex Bruce, has not played for the Republic for over a year.

Steven Reid is a major fitness doubt for Wednesday's game.

The Blackburn player again missed training on Monday morning because of a knee injury.

Robbie Keane was able to train on Monday after picking up a minor ankle knock in Tottenham's draw against Manchester United on Saturday.

Newcastle pair Shay Given and Damien Duff sat out Republic training on Monday after being involved in their club's encounter against Middlesbrough on Sunday.

However, both men are expected to be fit for Wednesday's friendly.

606: DEBATE

"I'd like to talk to Andy before I say too much," said Givens, after learning news of O'Brien's retirement.

"I've always had a great relationship with him from the under-21s so I would expect that I will have a chat with him sometimes, after which I'll be able to say for definite."

Andy Reid and Joey O'Brien have already withdrawn from the Republic squad for Wednesday's game because of injury.

Meanwhile, AC Milan stars Kaka and Pato have pulled out of the Brazil squad for the game because of injury.

Brazil coach Dunga has called up Werder Bremen's Diego and Besiktas striker Bobo as replacements.

Pato injured ankle ligaments in Milan's 1-0 win at Fiorentina on Sunday and coach Carl Ancelotti said the teenage star could face a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Kaka was substituted before the end of the match against the Viola although his injury is thought to be less serious.

Werder Bremen defender Naldo has already been called up as a replacement for injured Bayern Munich centre-back Lucio.



SEE ALSO
Republic job delay annoys Dunne
04 Feb 08 |  Internationals
Republic manager search drags on
03 Feb 08 |  Internationals
Fit-again Duff back for Republic
24 Jan 08 |  Internationals


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