Breen Still Keen

Gary Breen will not be dismayed at not being named Eire captain by Mick McCarthy as they begin their attempt at qualifying for the European championships.

Kenny Cunningham has been named as their new skipper, for, according to McCarthy, a calming influence - but Glenn Roeder insists it is no snub to the more experienced Gary.

"I'm not too concerned about him not being named captain and I'm sure he won't be," he says.

"The most important thing for Gary is to get another 90 minutes under his belt, comes through the game safely, and that he arrives back from Russia in one piece to be in at the training ground on Monday."

Glenn says that when Gary returns, he will be on equal terms with his colleagues, and explains:

"As far as I am concerned, because we got him late in preseason, he missed a couple of weeks training that the other players had done.

"But I would now consider him fit and ready to play for us."

Gary will not be bumping into Youssef Sofiane in Russia; he has had to come home from France's U21 jaunt after picking up a slight injury and is undergoing treatment at Chadwell Heath.

Meanwhile, Richard Garcia became the first of West Ham's players in international action when he scored twice for Australia U23s against Bayer Leverkusen in a 5-3 defeat.