The Irish international football camp has been rocked by a serious injury to stalwart defender Richard Dunne.
Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish admits it will be a massive blow for his club to be without Dunne for eight weeks after the defender fractured his collarbone last week.
Centre-back Dunne has undergone surgery in Birmingham after landing awkwardly on his shoulder during City’s 1-0 success.
Utility player and Irish compatriot Ciaran Clark will also be sidelined for a month after suffering a medial ligament strain to his left knee during training.
McLeish said: “We’re gutted to be losing the big man (Dunne). He was trying to get us back in the game when he made a tremendous leap but, unfortunately, he landed badly on his shoulder and fractured the collarbone.
“He is a stalwart defender and has been that for the past dozen years or so in the Barclays Premier League.
“It’s not good for us to be without such a top player and a defender of his massive experience.
“We wish Richard a speedy recovery and Ciaran, too, from his knee injury. We will look now for someone else to step up to the mark.”
The Republic Of Ireland face the Czech Republic in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin later this week as preparations begin for the Euro 2012 finals in June.