Wolves wing back Matt Doherty could face another exile from international football after Ireland boss Mick McCarthy declared he prefers Seamus Coleman at right back.
McCarthy played Coleman at right back and Doherty right midfield in Ireland’s 1-0 win in Gibraltar last week.
But he admitted the experiment didn’t work, and claimed Doherty – who he signed for Wolves in 2010 – lacked a winger’s natural instincts.
And asked how he made up his mind on the Coleman-Doherty conundrum, McCarthy told Dublin Live: “I didn’t have to.
“Seamus plays right-back every week. The ‘Doc’ plays right wing back. And having played him on Saturday, I was never going to change it.
“It’s unfortunate for them but it’s not unfortunate for me because if one of them is injured, I’ve got another good one.
“I played the pair of them and it didn’t work. So I’m playing Seamus and I’m afraid it’s just tough on the Doc. And if he gets in for any reason then it’s his place to keep.”
Doherty was previously kept in the cold by previous Ireland boss Martin O’Neill, who restricted him to just five caps.
The 27-year-old has played left back for Wolves but McCarthy says he will pick Sheffield United’s Enda Stevens in that position.
“If I’ve got one as good as Enda then I won’t be doing that, that’s for sure,” said McCarthy.
In Ireland’s next game, the 1-0 win against Georgia, Robbie Brady started wide on the right ahead of Doherty, who came on for the last nine minutes.