Thursday 29 September 2016

Martin O'Neill holds talks with Daniel Crowley's father and avoids Jack Grealish deadline

Barry Lennon

Published 17/09/2015 | 17:34

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has admitted that he has held discussions with the father of Arsenal youngster Daniel Crowley over the teenager's international future.

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O’Neill announced a provisional 40-man squad for Ireland's October European qualifying matches, but revealed that English born Crowley - who is currently on loan at Barnsley - is very much on his radar.

“I spoke to his father,” O’Neill said today. “We had a very civil conversation. We would have a real genuine interest in him, and would like to progress that if at all possible . I think there's good will there."

“I also thought that in the meeting between Jack Grealish and his father but that's another matter.”

Daniel Cleary and Nathaniel Clyne of Liverpool during a training session at Coopers Stadium on July 19, 2015 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Daniel Cleary and Nathaniel Clyne of Liverpool during a training session at Coopers Stadium on July 19, 2015 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Grealish scored his first goal for Villa at the weekend when he curled home a lovely right-footed shot beyond the goalkeeper .

O'Neill also said he does not want to impose a deadline on Jack Grealish to declare for international duty.

“I'm not keen on deadlines for now. However, Roy Hodgson wanted for him to make his mind up sooner than I did.”

“I haven't spoken to him since the last time I met his father. At that stage, he wanted to get over the niggling injury so he could get back into the team at Aston Villa .

“Sometimes your view might change but I have to think about Ireland for the long-term. So deadlines would not be ideal for the future.

“I thought Grealish was going to make a decision soon. But I'll continue to leave himself and his father to wait to make a decision.” 

Meanwhile Darron Gibson has been recalled to the Irish squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Germany and Poland next month.

The Everton man has returned to training after an injury setback and manager Martin O’Neill believes he may be ready for those two big games.

Shane Duffy of Blackburn Rovers is also back in the extended squad after O’Neill went to see him playing for his club last Sunday and again last night against QPR.

O’Neill has also been impressed by Darron Randolph’s form in goal for West Ham, but more or less admitted that the importance of these games mean he is unlikely to dislodge Shay Given, even though Given is not playing at all with Stoke City.

O’Neill will trim the squad before the group meets up in Dublin on Octber 3 to prepare for the German game.

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