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O’Neill: ‘Players are raring to go’

“If Roy can come back, it’s open for anyone” said O’Neill at today’s press conference

Published 12/11/2013 | 15:06

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill speaking during a press conference ahead of their Three International Friendly match against Latvia on Friday.
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill speaking during a press conference ahead of their Three International Friendly match against Latvia on Friday.
12 November 2013; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill with assistant manager Roy Keane during squad training ahead of their Three International Friendly match against Latvia on Friday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
12 November 2013; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill with assistant manager Roy Keane during squad training ahead of their Three International Friendly match against Latvia on Friday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
12 November 2013; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during squad training ahead of their Three International Friendly match against Latvia on Friday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
12 November 2013; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill with assistant manager Roy Keane and equipment officer Mick Lawlor during squad training ahead of their Three International Friendly match against Latvia on Friday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
12 November 2013; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during squad training ahead of their Three International Friendly match against Latvia on Friday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
12 November 2013; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane with equipment officer Dick Redmond during squad training ahead of their Three International Friendly match against Latvia on Friday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
12 November 2013; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill during squad training ahead of their Three International Friendly match against Latvia on Friday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
12 November 2013; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during squad training ahead of their Three International Friendly match against Latvia on Friday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
12 November 2013; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during squad training ahead of their Three International Friendly match against Latvia on Friday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
12 November 2013; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during squad training ahead of their Three International Friendly match against Latvia on Friday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
12 November 2013; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill with assistant manager Roy Keane during squad training ahead of their Three International Friendly match against Latvia on Friday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
12 November 2013; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill with assistant manager Roy Keane during squad training ahead of their Three International Friendly match against Latvia on Friday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
12 November 2013; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill during squad training ahead of their Three International Friendly match against Latvia on Friday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
12 November 2013; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during squad training ahead of their Three International Friendly match against Latvia on Friday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
12 November 2013; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during squad training ahead of their Three International Friendly match against Latvia on Friday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
12 November 2013; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during squad training ahead of their Three International Friendly match against Latvia on Friday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

MARTIN O’Neill has said that the “Ireland players are raring to go” and opened up the door up to a return to international football for Stephen Ireland.

"If Roy can come back, it's open for anyone,” O’Neill said in his press conference after his and assistant Roy Keane’s first training session with Ireland today.

Keane took the training session this morning with the players, according to O’Neill.

O’Neill was quizzed on the players and said that they would be competing for places in future squads.

“Players are competing for places in the next two games, ” he said.

Midfielder Ireland has been in good form for club Stoke and scored in Sunday’s 3-3 draw with Swansea. However, he has not played for the Republic of Ireland since 2007 after he left a Republic of Ireland squad Ireland falsely claiming that his grandmother had died.

The new manager also confirmed that Robbie Keane will remain Ireland captain for the friendly matches against Latvia this Friday and Poland on Tuesday evening.

O’Neill also revealed that he would be looking at Ireland’s games from the recent World Cup qualification group and said he felt that the

players felt the late concession of a goal to Austria was “very costly”.

Reading defender Alex Pearce said that the Ireland players were “impressed with the new management” team.

“Keane took the session this morning and he was great.”

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