Saracens full-back Max Malins has had surgery to repair a broken foot, ruling him out for three months.
The 23-year-old former England Under-20 international suffered the injury in Sarries’ 14-7 defeat at Premiership leaders Exeter on 29 December.
He will now begin a rehabilitation programme following Monday’s successful operation but is expected to be out of action until April.
Saracens are bottom of the Premiership table on -7 points.
The reigning champions were docked 35 points and fined £5.36m in November for breaching salary cap regulations.
One of the first mixed-sex couples to become civil partners hailed it as a “unique, special and personal moment”.
Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, who won a legal battle for the right to heterosexual civil partnerships, celebrated at Kensington and Chelsea Register Office in west London.
Previously, the law only allowed same-sex couples to be civil partners.
About 84,000 mixed-sex couples could form civil partnerships next year, the government says.
Introduced for same-sex couples in 2005, civil partnerships offer almost identical rights as marriage, including property, inheritance and tax entitlements.
After Ms Steinfeld and Mr Keidan won their legal bid at the Supreme Court in 2018 for the right to have a civil partnership instead of a marriage, the rules were changed to make them available to everyone.
Speaking on the steps of the register office, Ms Steinfeld said their “personal wish” to form a civil partnership came from a “desire to formalise our relationship in a more modern way, with a focus on equality, and mutual respect”.
She said: “So today is a unique, special and personal moment for us, a moment that we’ve been able to affirm our love and commitment to one another in the company of our beautiful children, Eden and Ariel, and close friends.”
Ms Steinfeld said it creates “new, modern possibilities” for thousands of people to express their love and commitment and ends “the unrivalled position of marriage”.
She called for “deeper discussions” on giving legal recognition to other kinds of caring relationships, including those between friends, siblings and co-parents.
Mr Keidan said they succeeded in their legal battle “against all odds” but added that their mental health has suffered under the strain.
Five years after being refused permission to give notice of a heterosexual civil partnership, Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan will finally become civil partners today.
Their conscientious objection to marriage and what they saw as its patriarchal associations led to a lengthy legal battle culminating in a unanimous Supreme Court ruling last year that the law was discriminatory and breached their right to a family and private life.
The government changed the law, opening such a union to the majority of the UK’s 3.3 million co-habiting heterosexual couples.
Many believe they are already protected by so-called “common law marriages”, but these do not exist.
As a result, they do not enjoy the same property, inheritance and tax entitlements as married couples and civil partners.
The government estimates as many as 84,000 mixed sex couples could become civil partners this year, giving them greater rights and protections within their relationships, without having to get married.
Another couple, Julie Thorpe, 61, and Keith Lomax, 70, said they were looking forward to being among the first mixed-sex people to officially enter a civil partnership – but it would not change their relationship “one jot”.
The couple from near Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, have been living together for most of their 37-year relationship and have three children.
They will have a civil partnership ceremony at a register office in Halifax.
Ms Thorpe said: “It won’t change our relationship one jot. It will not make any difference to how we behave towards each other when we get up the next day.
“We have had a very successful relationship for 37 years and a bit of paper is not going to make any difference to that whatsoever. It does give us some legal protection within that relationship.”
Mr Lomax, a human rights lawyer, added: “It is a mutual celebration of all of those and also of the people who actually brought the case to court and changed the law in the first place, because that was a very brave and bold thing to do at considerable financial risk.”
A 60-year-old man has been stabbed to death in a residential street in south London.
Police and ambulance crews were called to reports of a stabbing in Woodcroft Road, Thornton Heath, Croydon, at 21:30 GMT on Monday.
The victim was found outside a property with knife injuries and was pronounced dead at 21:49, the Met Police said.
A 50-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and taken into custody.
The suspect became unwell while in custody and was transferred to hospital where he is in a stable condition, police said.
Det Ch Insp Simon Harding said: “The victim was found injured in a residential street. While it is not a heavy footfall location, there may have been members of the public travelling through Woodcroft Road who saw something.
“I urge those people to come forward and speak to my officers without delay.
“No matter how insignificant you think it may be please do make the call.
“We are building the sequence of events leading up to and immediately following this attack which has led to a man’s death, your call could complete the picture.”
Inquiries into the circumstances continue.
Love Island host Caroline Flack has stood down from the show after being charged with assault by beating.
“I feel the best thing I can do is stand down for series six,” she said, describing ITV2’s Love Island as “the best show on telly”.
Police were called to the 40-year-old’s home in Islington, London, last week, where she lives with her partner, tennis player Lewis Burton.
She was bailed and will appear before magistrates on Monday.
“There have been a significant number of media reports and allegations into my personal life,” she said in her Instagram story on Tuesday.
“While matters were not as have been reported, I am committed to working with the authorities and I can’t comment further on these matters until the legal process is over.”
The star, who was due to present the forthcoming winter edition of the popular ITV2 show – which is expected to start on 12 January – added: “However, Love Island has been my world for the last five years, it’s the best show on telly.
“In order not to detract attention from the upcoming series I feel the best thing I can do is stand down for series six. I want to wish the incredible team working on the show a fantastic series in Cape Town.”
Flack began presenting Love Island in summer 2015, having fronted the 12th series of The X Factor alongside Olly Murs, and winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2014.
An ITV spokesperson said: “ITV has a long-standing relationship with Caroline and we understand and accept her decision.
“We will remain in contact with her over the coming months about future series of Love Island.”
On Monday, Burton wrote on Instagram that his girlfriend had been subject to a “witch hunt” since being charged, describing her as “the most lovely girl”.
“I’m tired of the lies and abuse aimed at my girlfriend. This is not a witch hunt, this is someone’s life,” he wrote.
The TV star mentioned him personally online, writing: “My boyfriend Lewis… I love you.”
Arsenal came from behind to end their nine-match winless streak as Freddie Ljungberg enjoyed his first victory as interim manager at the expense of his former club West Ham.
Eighteen-year-old Gabriel Martinelli marked his full Premier League debut by side-footing an equaliser which cancelled out Angelo Ogbonna’s deflected first-half opener at London Stadium.
Within nine minutes, Nicolas Pepe had curled a magnificent second into the top corner and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired in a third.
The salvo turned the game on its head and piled the pressure on West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini, whose side have taken four points from their past nine league games and conceded three times in three successive home games.
The Hammers remain a point above the relegation zone in 16th and face a trip to third-bottom Southampton on Saturday. Arsenal move up two places to ninth.
Arsenal recover from dismal start
Arsenal’s victory was all the more remarkable because until Martinelli added to the seven goals he has scored in cup competitions this season, the visitors had been utterly woeful.
Club officials had spoken before kick-off about the improved atmosphere triggered by Ljungberg’s appointment as Unai Emery’s replacement but it appeared this game would end in frustration, just as the previous two had done under the Swede.
The visitors were bereft of confidence and mild boos from the travelling support accompanied the end of a first half in which their side failed to have a shot on target and went behind when Ogbonna’s header bounced in off Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
True, they did not have much luck. Hector Bellerin was injured in the warm-up and when Kieran Tierney was helped off in obvious pain with a shoulder injury sustained in a seemingly innocuous tangle with Michail Antonio, Ljungberg had lost both his first-choice full-backs in the space of half an hour.
Nevertheless, it was pitiful stuff and when Aubameyang surged down the right wing and sent over a cross that flew over everyone and straight out for a throw-in on the other side of the pitch, it was symptomatic of a club apparently heading nowhere fast.
‘Nerveless’ Martinelli rewards Ljungberg’s faith
It was 1977 when Arsenal last went 10 matches without a win. With an away Europa League game against Standard Liege followed by a home encounter with Manchester City to come, at the interval it was not beyond the realms of possibility that the 12-game barren sequence from 1974 was going to be threatened.
With Alexandre Lacazette and David Luiz on the bench, it was two of Arsenal’s most inexperienced players who sparked the change in fortune.
Ljungberg had obviously seen enough of Martinelli in two substitute appearances to trust the Brazilian with his first league start. The reward was a nerveless finish when his side needed it most. Sead Kolasinac provided the cross but there was still a lot to do for the Brazilian, who steered a first-time effort into the corner.
Emery paid a club record £72m for Pepe in August. With one league goal all season, the Frenchman has not really lived up to his billing but his goal here, a curling shot into the right-hand corner of David Martin’s net, was perfect in its execution.
Aubameyang made certain of a win few would have anticipated 10 minutes earlier when his clinical finish took his tally for the season to 13. It disguised the fact he had been a virtual spectator for the first hour.
At the final whistle, Ljungberg ran to applaud the visiting fans, knowing he had given his own chances of replacing Emery a significant boost.
What now for the unhappy Hammers?
When they beat Chelsea 1-0 nine days ago to end their own winless sequence, it appeared West Ham were on an upward curve.
The combination of boos and thousands of empty seats that accompanied the final whistle on Monday underlined the truth of the matter.
West Ham are perilously close to dropping into the relegation zone, something the club cannot countenance after moving to the 60,000-capacity London Stadium.
Even if Pellegrini survives this defeat, if West Ham lose again at Southampton on Saturday the calls for his dismissal will become piercingly loud.
This was the third home game running in which they had conceded three goals.
The Hammers were not particularly convincing when they were in front. Once they lost the advantage, the lack of confidence so clear in Arsenal’s play transferred to theirs.
Record signing Sebastien Haller was left on the bench and even when he was introduced 20 minutes from time, he made no noticeable impact.
Man of the match: Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal)
‘Like a Duracell battery’ – what they said
Arsenal interim boss Freddie Ljungberg told BBC Sport: “The players have belief and tried to move the ball with more tempo. West Ham got tired.
“The players ran their socks off and fought. I believe in them. When I could see them put their shift in, I could see the quality. I thought ‘it is here for the taking’.
“Martinelli did amazingly. He is like a Duracell battery, he keeps going. Laca [Alexandre Lacazette] is a tremendous player but I had to make a tough decision.”
West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini told BBC Sport: “For 60 minutes there was just one team on the pitch. But football can be like this.
“We made mistakes in moments of defending. The problem was a lack of patience and quality to decide the game with a second goal and we made important mistakes in defence.
“The pressure for me is exactly the same if we win or lose. When you don’t have results things are more difficult. If I had not seen the team play the way they did in the first 65 minutes, I might have doubts [about his ability to turn things around].
“After Southampton at the weekend we have a break. We must try to recover as quickly as we can and we must try to win those three points.”
Rare Arsenal recovery away from home – the stats
- West Ham have lost three in a row at home in the Premier League for the first time since August 2015.
- Arsenal came from a half-time losing position to win a Premier League away game for the first time since October 2011 (5-3 v Chelsea).
- Gabriel Martinelli is Arsenal’s fourth-youngest scorer in the Premier League (18 years 174 days), after Cesc Fabregas, Serge Gnabry and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
- Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been involved in 12 goals in his past 11 Premier League London derbies (nine goals, three assists).
- Since his Premier League debut in February 2018, Aubameyang has scored 43 goals in the competition, a joint-high along with Jamie Vardy.
Arsenal conclude their Europa League group phase campaign at Standard Liege on Thursday (17:55 GMT), still needing a draw to be sure of qualification before entertaining Manchester City at Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday (16:30). West Ham visit Southampton on Saturday (17:30).
Freddie Ljungberg is not the right man to manage Arsenal on a long-term basis, said former Blackburn striker Chris Sutton.
Ex-Gunners midfielder Ljungberg, 42, is in interim charge of the club after they sacked Unai Emery last month.
“Freddie said he was 100% sure they would get into the top four but based on what? It’s fantasy,” said Sutton on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club.
“They need to get someone in place that they are going to get a reaction from.”
Ljungberg, who played for Arsenal between 1998 and 2007, had been Emery’s assistant after working with their under-23 side but has no previous managerial experience.
In his only game in charge so far, the Gunners twice fell behind to a Norwich City side in the bottom three before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang twice equalised in a 2-2 draw.
That result left Arsenal eighth in the Premier League, 21 points behind leaders Liverpool and seven behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
“Did you expect them to be much different?” added Sutton, a Premier League title winner with Blackburn in 1994-95. “It has been the same for the last decade and it’s still the same problem.
“They need to change the model, the recruitment. Over the summer they brought in [winger] Nicolas Pepe [for £72m] but the issues were at the back.”
Former Aston Villa and Chelsea midfielder Andy Townsend agreed with Sutton and said: “I don’t think it’s the right time for Freddie to take over, not the right time for someone who is inexperienced at this level.
“Arsenal need someone to come in and teach them about defending.
“Calum Chambers has been around long enough to see if there’s been an improvement but there hasn’t been. I don’t think he’s good enough to be an Arsenal regular.
“Sokratis is nowhere near good enough. I don’t think he would get into any Premier League side.”
‘If you rely on Sokratis you will be changing manager every six months’
Emery’s sacking by Arsenal came 10 days after Tottenham dismissed Mauricio Pochettino, although Spurs acted decisively by bringing in Jose Mourinho the next day.
“At Tottenham they sacked the manager, it was a bit harsh but the time had come, and they had a manager six hours later, that’s how Arsenal should’ve done it,” said former Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam.
“Whoever comes in, it’s a short-term fix and in January he will need two centre-halves but there’s no money.”
Townsend added: “Jose Mourinho, when he looked at the Spurs team and the players he was working with, he has Son Heung-min, Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Lucas Moura and thought ‘we have half a chance’.
“With Arsenal you will think ‘I can win games with these players but I’ve got to sort out a team’. You will never stop Sokratis making mistakes. If you rely on him you will be changing manager every six months.”
Rodgers the ‘perfect fit’ for Arsenal – Adam
On Monday, Brendan Rodgers, manager of second-placed Leicester, dismissed speculation linking him with the Arsenal job, although on Sunday he had revealed there was a release clause in his Foxes contract.
“If Arsenal make the phone call and offer whatever that buy-out clause is, £15-£20m, that’s nothing to Arsenal. That sort of money they should find in a heartbeat,” added Townsend.
“They would spend it on a player and throw it away in 10 games. They spent £72m on Pepe and he does not get a game. To spend £25m on Brendan Rodgers, if he is the one they want then why wait?
“We’ve all enjoyed the Leicester story. It has been one of incredible highs and they are a great watch but they’re not on the same level globally as Arsenal are – to be back at Arsenal would be him back up among the elite.”
Adam described Rodgers as “the perfect fit” for Arsenal but doubted whether it would be the best decision from the former Liverpool and Celtic boss to leave Leicester for Arsenal.
“I don’t think it would be a good move for Rodgers,” said Adam. “At Leicester you have a new £100m training ground, four or five players at the top of their game – players like Youri Tielemans, Jamie Vardy, James Maddison.
“I would want my manager to say ‘I’m not interested in any other job’. If you don’t want to get it out there you don’t admit you have a buy-out clause. I think he wants the job.”
What about the other contenders?
Townsend believes Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, who won the Championship in 2017-18 and guided them to seventh in the Premier League last season, is the right man at Emirates Stadium.
“When I see the job he’s done at Wolves, getting them promoted, making them a seriously good team to watch, Nuno would be great,” said Townsend.
“He looks like a coach who wants to get into a player’s head and turn them around and some of the Arsenal players need that.”
Townsend also mentioned former Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez as another strong contender, but did not think Pochettino would move and join Tottenham’s fiercest rivals after more than five years in charge of Spurs.
“I wonder what the Arsenal fans would think of Benitez,” added Townsend. “He has been successful and managed at big clubs and has a history of trying to organise a team – and Arsenal need that.
“It’s too early for Mauricio Pochettino, he needs a breather instead of bouncing out of one job and into another.
“He was gone at the end. Have Christmas off at home and enjoy time with his family and friends. Pochettino can get a better job than Arsenal.”
Uber will not be granted a new licence to operate in London after repeated safety failures, Transport for London (TfL) has said.
The regulator said the taxi app was not “fit and proper” as a licence holder, despite having made a number of positive changes to its operations.
Uber initially lost its licence in 2017 but was granted two extensions, the most recent of which expires on Monday.
The firm will appeal and can continue to operate during that process.
London is one of Uber’s top five markets globally and it has about 45,000 drivers in the city. Overall, there are 126,000 licensed private hire and black cabs in the capital.
If its appeal is unsuccessful, some think Uber drivers would move over to rival ride-sharing firms such as Bolt and Kapten.”There would be competition that would fill that void quite quickly,” Fiona Cincotta, a market analyst at City Index told the BBC.
Why won’t Uber get a new licence?
TfL said it had identified a “pattern of failures” in London that placed passenger safety at risk.
These included a change to Uber’s systems which allowed unauthorised drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver accounts.
It meant there were at least 14,000 fraudulent trips in London in late 2018 and early 2019, TfL said.
The regulator also found dismissed or suspended drivers had been able to create Uber accounts and carry passengers. In one example, a driver was able to continue working for Uber, despite the fact his private hire licence had been revoked after he was cautioned for distributing indecent images of children.
Helen Chapman, director of licensing at TfL, said: “While we recognise Uber has made improvements, it is unacceptable that Uber has allowed passengers to get into minicabs with drivers who are potentially unlicensed and uninsured.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “I know this decision may be unpopular with Uber users, but their safety is the paramount concern. Regulations are there to keep Londoners safe.”
‘I feel safe using Uber’
Donna Stevens says her experiences of using Uber in London have “always been positive”.
In her job as a carer she often works late, so regularly uses the service. “The drivers are friendly, courteous and professional. I can’t afford to get a metered taxi.”
She says that if Uber were to go, she would probably have to go back to using public transport late at night, which does not make her feel safe.
However, another reader, Kay, says she would not be sad to see Uber go.
“I complained a couple of months ago about a driver who made me feel so uncomfortable I abandoned the ride and walked home in the dark at 11 o’clock at night instead of staying in his cab.”
She says Uber gave her a £5 credit but did not apologise. “How is it OK to employ drivers that make women feel unsafe?” she says.
Is this the end of Uber in London?
Uber lovers in London, fear not! The company’s cars will not suddenly disappear from the capital’s streets.
Uber is going to appeal against this decision so a magistrate will have to decide whether Uber is fit to hold a licence in London, or not.
A decision from a magistrates court could take weeks or months and unless the court decides otherwise, Uber will retain its licence during this period too.
When TfL decided not to renew Uber’s licence in 2017, the company addressed some of the issues raised by TfL back then and then a magistrate later granted Uber a new licence.
On the face of it TfL is standing tough against perceived failings by Uber. But in effect it is letting the courts decide, at a later date, whether Uber should have a licence, or not.
What does Uber say?
Uber said the decision was “extraordinary and wrong”. It said it had audited every driver in London over the past two months and strengthened its processes.
Boss Dara Khosrowshahi tweeted: “We understand we’re held to a high bar, as we should be. But this TfL decision is just wrong. Over the last 2 years we have fundamentally changed how we operate in London.”
According to Uber, 24% of its sales come from just five cities, including London. The others are Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and São Paulo in Brazil.
In a public filing, it said: “Any inability to operate in London, as well as the publicity concerning any such termination or non-renewal, would adversely affect our business, revenue, and operating results.
“We cannot predict whether the TfL decision, or future regulatory decisions or legislation in other jurisdictions, may embolden or encourage other authorities to take similar actions even where we are operating according to the terms of an existing licence or permit.”
What do others say?
Business lobby group the CBI said customers valued Uber, and encouraged both sides to find a resolution.
But the Unite union – which believes Uber has unfairly taken business from black cab drivers – welcomed the news.
“Uber’s DNA is about driving down standards and creating a race to the bottom which is not in the best interests of professional drivers or customers,” said Jim Kelly, chair of Unite’s London and Eastern cab section.
Where else has banned Uber?
Uber has faced pressure from regulators around the world over the way it treats its drivers, competition concerns, and fears about passenger safety.
The US firm pulled out of Denmark in 2017 because of new taxi laws that required drivers to have fare meters and seat sensors.
Bulgaria and Hungary both stripped Uber’s right to operate following pressure from local taxi unions.
And in May, the ride-hailing firm pulled its UberXL service in Turkey without saying why.
What happened in London in 2017?
TfL first declined to renew Uber’s licence in September 2017, again over safety concerns. Back then it cited Uber’s approach to carrying out background checks on drivers and reporting serious criminal offences.
Uber’s use of secret software, called “Greyball”, which could be used to block regulators from monitoring the app, was another factor, although Uber said it had never been used in the UK.
However, TfL granted Uber a 15-month licence extension – later extended by two months – conditional on it making improvements to its business.
TfL can offer licences of up to five years, but it has been more stringent of late.
In July, Indian ride-hailing company Ola got a 15-month agreement for its entry into the London market, while ViaVan got a three-year licence renewal.
Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:
A man accused of rape was caught on camera at a hotel just before one of his alleged victims smashed him over the head and escaped, a court heard.
Joseph McCann went into the Phoenix Lodge Hotel in Watford on 25 April, leaving two women in a car outside, the Old Bailey was told.
He was allegedly captured on CCTV entering the hotel wearing a tracksuit and a baseball cap.
Mr McCann, 34, from Harrow, denies 37 offences against 11 victims.
After going into the hotel, he held the front door open and glanced repeatedly outside while rapping on the window of the reception desk to speak to staff, the court was told.
He then told his alleged captives to get out of the car and smile as he put his arms around them.
Instead, one of them, a 25-year-old woman, grabbed a bottle of vodka and hit him over the head with it before running for help, jurors heard.
The trial continues.
Unai Emery has been offered public backing by the Arsenal hierarchy, but warned results must improve.
Emery’s position is under scrutiny after a run of just two wins from their last 10 Premier League games.
However, Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi and managing director Vinai Venkatesham say they have no immediate plans to make a change of manager.
“We firmly believe Unai is the right man for the job,” they told Arsenal staff at a meeting.
“We are as disappointed as everyone else with both our results and performances at this stage of the season.
“We share the frustration with our fans, Unai, players and all our staff as they are not at the level we want or expect. Things need to improve to meet our objectives for the season.
“We are all working intensively behind the scenes to turn things around and are confident we will.
“We never take our fantastic support for granted. We hope we can all stick together and get behind the team in this challenging period, as together we are stronger.”
Xhaka ‘hurt’ by hostile criticism
Meanwhile, Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka says he has been hurt by the “extreme hostility” directed towards him from the supporters, but has promised to prove his worth.
The Switzerland midfielder has not played for the club since.
“It was very hurtful and frustrating,” Xhaka told Swiss newspaper Blick.
“I can’t understand a reaction like that even now, especially the vehemence of it and the extreme hostility directed against me.”
Xhaka was booed as he walked off the pitch as he was substituted against Palace, prompting him to cup his ear, take his shirt off and head straight down the tunnel to the dressing room.
“When my shirt number lit up on the fourth official’s panel and our own fans broke into gleeful jubilation, that hit me very hard and really upset me,” he added.
“Insulting and swearing at your own captain will cause upset and a bad atmosphere for the team you are actually supposed to be supporting; that makes no sense to me and weakens the team’s spirit.”
Arsenal manager Emery said last week that he was unsure whether the midfielder would play for the club again, adding that “he was not ready” to return for Saturday’s match at Leicester, which the Gunners lost 2-0.
Xhaka, though, says he is fully committed to the club and is ready to move on from the incident.
“I’ve been 100% behind the club and my role as a player since I came here,” he said.
“I’m proud to be playing for this big club. I’ll continue to stay positive, give my all to an even greater extent and prove that I’m an important part of this great team.
“Last week in particular was a very special, emotional experience for me but I’m doing very well again, I’ve trained well this week and am looking forward to my next assignments.”
Mick McCarthy says uncapped Tottenham teenager Troy Parrott will stay in his Republic of Ireland squad for the vital Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark.
The 17-year-old, who has played only one competitive game for Tottenham, was named in an extended squad last week.
The Republic boss revealed on Monday that Parrott will make the cut when the squad is reduced on Thursday.
“I can confirm Troy will be on the list,” McCarthy told the Football Association of Ireland website.
“I spoke to [Republic of Ireland Under-21 manager] Stephen Kenny at our monthly manager’s meeting in Abbotstown on Monday and told him that Troy and Aaron Connolly will be with the senior squad next week.”
The Republic host New Zealand in a friendly four days before the crunch 18 November contest against the Danes.
“Troy has been pushing for this step up for some time now and I look forward to seeing him on the training ground ahead of the New Zealand game. I hope he pushes me to include him in that game,” added McCarthy.
The Republic boss said he was optimistic injury doubts Darren Randolph, Glenn Whelan and Matt Doherty would all be fit after speaking to all three players.
Whelan and Doherty both had to be substituted because of injury during their clubs’ games at the weekend while keeper Randolph has missed Middlesbrough’s last three matches because of a thigh injury.
“I have been in touch with all three players and they assure me they are confident of being fit to play against Denmark,” said McCarthy
Veteran Whelan was substituted in the first half of Hearts’ Scottish League Cup semi-final defeat by Rangers on Sunday because of a hamstring issue while Doherty was forced off during Wolves’ Premier League draw against Arsenal after suffering a recurrence of a knee problem.
The Republic boss was pleased to see Robbie Brady get more game time for Burnley over the weekend after his injury problems this season while David McGoldrick was back in action in the same encounter as he helped Sheffield United clinch a 3-0 victory.
A Republic win on 18 November should be enough to secure them a spot at Euro 2020 although McCarthy’s side will need a 2-0 victory to qualify if Switzerland pick up only four points from their final two games against Georgia and Gibraltar.