Sunday 23 July 2017

'My commitment levels to Ireland have been judged a little bit unfairly' - Harry Arter

Cyrus Christie of Republic of Ireland celebrates with Jeff Hendrick, left, and Harry Arter, right, after scoring his side's second goal during the international friendly match between Republic of Ireland and Uruguay at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Cyrus Christie of Republic of Ireland celebrates with Jeff Hendrick, left, and Harry Arter, right, after scoring his side's second goal during the international friendly match between Republic of Ireland and Uruguay at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Damian Spellman

Harry Arter has vowed to let his football do the talking as he attempts to establish himself as a Republic of Ireland regular.

The Bournemouth midfielder has managed just four appearances for his country in the two years since he made his debut in a friendly against England, and missed out on selection for the Euro 2016 finals.

That has proved a source of huge frustration to the 27-year-old, whose commitment has been questioned in certain quarters to the extent that he had to deny speculation that he was about to switch allegiance to England before playing his first competitive game.

Asked about his stop-start international career, Arter said: "It's been disappointing.

"I've felt my commitment levels have been judged a little bit unfairly and one thing I've always said to myself is that I won't say too much to the press about being judged on my commitment.

"I'll just try and perform on the pitch and show when I play that I'm 100 per cent committed."

Arter's comments come just days after Ireland team-mate James McClean expressed his annoyance with players who pull out of international squads through injury, but are then fit to play for their clubs when they return.

Whether or not Arter was in McClean's line of fire is a matter for debate, but the former Charlton trainee is determined to prove his worth with next Sunday's World Cup qualifier against Austria looming large.

He started in the reverse fixture, a 1-0 victory for the Republic at the Ernst Happel Stadium, and is hoping for another chance in the return, a niggling injury permitting.

Arter, who briefly needed treatment on the pitch during Sunday night's 3-1 friendly victory over Uruguay at the Aviva Stadium, said: "I've got a slight little problem with my ankle at the moment.

"It probably requires an injection at the end of the internationals, but it's nothing too important. It was just a little bit of soreness.

"I'm mentally strong enough to put niggles like that to one side. In the past, I've unfortunately missed out on a few trips through injuries that I've been unable to play through.

"When I can play through something, I'm more than prepared."

Victory over the Austrians would edge Ireland ever closer to qualification - they and Serbia currently enjoy a four-point advantage over both Austria and Wales in Group D - but Arter is well aware of the price of failure.

He said: "It (victory) would put us in a great position. It will be a long summer individually and collectively if we don't get a positive result, so fingers crossed."

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