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Christie called into Ireland squad

Fulham full back Cyrus Christie has been called into the Republic of Ireland squad for their World Cup qualifier against Serbia on Tuesday after Seamus Coleman withdrew through injury.

The Everton defender picked up a knock during yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Azerbaijan. Christie has been called up as cover and will join up with Stephen Kenny’s squad tomorrow ahead of their crucial game against the Serbians. Ireland only have picked up just one point from their first four matches in a disastrous start to their Group A campaign – which makes the midweek clash a must-win.

Christie has yet to feature under Marco Silva at Fulham this season and was made available for transfer at the end of the transfer window. The former Middlesbrough defender turned down a return to Nottingham Forest, where he had spent last season on loan, after failing to agree personal terms and a potential switch to Bologna fell through on deadline day.

Fulham planning Irish tour

Slavisa Jokanovic has revealed that Fulham are planning to warm up for next season in colder climbs and the Whites will be travelling to Ireland for their pre-season tour.

The club’s training camp was held last summer in Portugal where the Whites recorded an impressive win over Aston Villa, but Jokanovic indicated his preference for a colder climate than the Albufeira heat and so Fulham are drawing up plans for an Irish tour. The Serbian and Fulham figures are working together on the itinerary with friendlies against League of Ireland opposition in the offering.

Jokanovic said: “We are going to a more colder place. Generally, for British clubs it’s better, and we are going to Ireland. We have some pre-season games lined up, around 50 per cent have been arranged, but not all of them. Cork is probably the second game, and the first is against a very small side. We are 85 per cent done on the preparation for this tour.”

Injury disappointment for Duff

It’s not just Zamora and Stockdale missing out on international fun next week – the BBC is reporting that Damien Duff picked up a calf injury against Blackpool on Saturday and will therefore miss the Republic of Ireland’s opening qualifier against Armenia. It’s hoped he’ll return for Ireland’s following game against Andorra though, so hopefully he won’t be a long-term absentee from the Fulham side.

Bellamy and Ireland

With Mark Hughes apparently about to become our manager I thought I would write a bit about the speculation around who will be joining the former City boss at the Cottage. Sky Bet have officailly cut the odds on Ireland and Bellamy joining due to apparant speculation surroundig the duos future at City. I’ve made no secret of my desire to see Ireland at the Cottage. He is a fantastic player and would be just the perfect Murphy replacement or could play along side him in the middle. Bellamy is a quality player and would be an excellent buy or loan. Nick has already mentioned that we would probably be most likely to get any of these players on loan which would still be a good piece of business.

I hope this isn’t a Jol-type announcement that is going to collaspe at any moment but I can’t see it happening again. I think the signing of Mark Hughes is an excellent one. Yes, we might have prefered Jol but this is an assured signing and hopefully he will continue the fantastic work that Hodgson had started.