PAUL MCSHANE will try and play his way into an injury-hit Ireland team for Friday's World Cup clash with Germany after winning back his place in the first team at Hull City.
The Wicklow man started in defence in Hull's last two games after a long spell out in the cold and was praised for his performance in Saturday's win over Sheffield Wednesday.
"It's been a tough couple of months, a few of us at Hull have been in limbo really and it's not nice when you train every day for nothing," says McShane.
The former Sunderland and West Brom man has not started a competitive international since the 0-0 draw at home to Montenegro in the World Cup qualifiers three years ago, but he could come into the frame for the meeting with Germany on Friday.
With Richard Dunne definitely out and Sean St Ledger unlikely to be fit Giovanni Trapattoni needs to change things around in defence, and while he is likely to draft Stephen Kelly into his back four, McShane could come into the manager's thoughts.
Meanwhile, his club-mate and former international team-mate Alex Bruce is likely to miss out on a possible debut for Northern Ireland this week.
Capped twice at senior level by the Republic between 2007-2008, Bruce has now declared for the North and was named by Michael O'Neill in their squad for their World Cup qualifier against Portugal next week, but Bruce is struggling with an injury and is unlikely to feature.
READING boss Brian McDermott has hailed Ireland B cap Jay Tabb for his display in their 2-2 draw with Swansea City.
Waterford lad Noel Hunt scored the second Premier League goal of his career in the draw but Tabb earned the praise of his boss for his performance.
"I was pleased for Jay -- it was a typical Jay Tabb performance, you know what you're going to get with him. He might not have played as many games as he'd have liked but he's such a positive energy to have in the squad," says McDermott.