Staunton drops Doherty

Last updated : 16 February 2006 By Rick Lamb
New Republic of Ireland manager Steve Staunton has made the curious decision to leave Canaries centre back Gary Doherty out of his first squad.

While new club mates Robert Earnshaw and Carl Robinson could face Paraguay for Wales, Doherty will be denied the chance to face another of England's World Cup opponents, Sweden.

Staunton has overlooked 26-year-old Doherty in favour of youngsters like Bolton's Joey O'Brien, Manchester City's Stephen Jordan and Spurs full back Stephen Kelly.

Doherty, who came to Carrow Road after playing for Luton Town and Tottenham, has scored four times in 30 appearances for Eire and was a regular under Brian Kerr. His form for City has been much improved in recent months and he is now one of the first names on Nigel Worthington's team sheet.