Sport European Championships

Monday 22 September 2014

Martin O'Neill on . . .

Published 22/08/2014 | 02:30

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Republic of Ireland's Robbie Brady in action during squad training. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Republic of Ireland's Robbie Brady in action during squad training. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

RICHARD DUNNE'S RETIREMENT

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"I was disappointed that he wanted to retire because I still think he is well and truly capable. I would never have written him off. I understand he wanted to play in the league games last year and when you play in the Championship there is no respite, so he missed international matches. He did make himself available for the summer matches. I was disappointed that he wanted to retire."

ROBBIE KEANE'S CAPTAINCY

"I'm not in a process of changing that. When he's there, and on the field of play, I don't see any reason to change it. He has a good influence on the team and has been very good off it too and he's been fine. John O'Shea has stood in manfully in his stead at times and I didn't see any reasons to change that sort of procedure. That does not mean that somebody during the course of the next year won't step up and show unbelievable leadership qualities that you feel as if, well, if for instance Robbie or John are not playing in some game for some reason or another, that someone else can't stake a claim there and say 'this is where I belong and that I intend being around for the next number of years'."

ROBBIE BRADY

"Brady (left) is a talented player, he's just been beset with injuries and suddenly when you think he's fit. . . I probably talk to Steve Bruce about Robbie more than I talk to Robbie, and he is of the same opinion: great talent and would like to have him fit. I'm hoping he will get some football between now and when I narrow the squad down, we'll see. Ideally, I would like players to be going in who have played some competitive football before we hit Oman and Georgia."

LACK OF SUMMER FRIENDLY WIN

"I'm not bothered. If we were going in having won four games on the trot I don't think it would make any difference. Overall, these forthcoming matches are the games that matter and if it counts against me, then it counts against me. Honestly, I don't think in the course of life winning a couple of friendly matches and getting beaten in big games makes any difference. It's almost surreal to have a job which starts in November and no competitive game until the next September."

Irish Independent

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