Stephen Ireland is a constant starter in Stoke City but despite this, he was not featured in the provisional squad and list of players that was created by Martin O’Neil which includes all of the performers which will play for Ireland in their upcoming friendly matches.
In the next few weeks and month Ireland has to lock horns with Turkey, Italy, Costa Rica and Portugal all of which are friendly matches that are going to take place before the start of the 2014 World Cup.
Martin O’Neill did reveal however that Stephen Ireland still has a chance of representing his nation for their international friendly matches and that they will be facing a face to face meeting in the next few days which is going to be the deciding factor on whether or not, the player of Stoke City gets in his list or not.
“This is a provisional squad so by rules and regulation I can add and subtract as needs be. I wanted to deliberately see Stephen on his own and I would intend to do that. I wanted to wait until the season was finished. I had spoken to him some time before and said I wanted this face-to-face meeting with him. He was on the periphery with Stoke at that particular time and a little bit down.”
“I don’t have any issue with him because I’m new in, the slate has been cleaned and all that stuff. If he really does want to play, I’m not saying he’s going to walk straight into the team. If he genuinely wants to play and says that he’s ready to work to get into the side and there’ll be no excuses. It will be absolutely fine.” Martin O’Neill stated.
The 62 years old tactician continued on saying that these friendly encounters will be crucial for the nation to prepare themselves for their first European qualifier against Georgia in September.