Sheffield United: John Egan speaks out ahead of Republic of Ireland's clash with Norway

John Egan, the Sheffield United captain, has shrugged-off Erling Haaland’s absence from the Norway squad set to face the Republic of Ireland tonight.
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Egan appears set to start the match in Dublin, although Paul Heckingbottom, his manager at club level, has asked Stephen Kenny to consider the centre-half’s workload amid an injury crisis at Bramall Lane.

Having outlined his intention to name a strong side for the clash with the Scandinavians, that could see Kenny rest Egan for Sunday’s clash with Malta.

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Asked about missing the opportunity to pit his wits against Manchester City’s Haaland, who has scored 23 times in only 18 appearances so far this term, Egan told journalists at the RoI’s pre-match media conference: “This is football and we know they (Norway) have a really good team. “They’ve got good players, no matter who is playing.”

“I don’t really focus on that (the opposition),” Egan added. “We just have to go out there and play well no matter who were are facing. I’m really looking forward to this game.”

Egan, recently described by Heckingbottom as one of the unsung heroes in a United squad which entered the World Cup break ranked second in the Championship, could have found himself lining up against club team mate Sander Berge. But the United midfielder is still recovering from the fitness issue which has forced him to miss their last nine outings.

Martin Odegaard, who has been in exceptional form for Arsenal of late, does feature in Norway’s plans.

“Norway have a lot of players at a really good level,” Kenny reminded. “They have players from La Liga and other top competitions."