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Liam: Don't forget about me Trap

DON'T You Forget About Me. A simple song from Simple Minds back in the day. And the theme song for the next six months for Liam Lawrence.

It's not so long ago that Lawrence was a key man in Giovanni Trapattoni's team, starting five consecutive competitive games, from the first leg of the play-off against France through to the home defeat to Russia in the Euro 2012 qualifiers.

But injury and loss of form has seen the Portsmouth man pushed down the ladder: he hasn't played even a minute in the last nine competitive internationals, and he's one of the senior players who could miss out when Trapattoni names his 23-man squad for the finals.

He travelled over for the Euro 2012 play-off against Estonia but was sent back to England to get treatment on a nasty ankle injury, but he still made a pitch to Trapattoni and Marco Tardelli to give him a chance.

"I need to keep my fingers crossed and hope that Trap remembers what I did at the start of the group, away to Armenia and things like that. I know I can do it at that level, I did it against Italy and France in the last campaign, so I know I am able, but I need to get my form back to prove that," Lawrence told the Herald.

"I am in contact with the management. I had a chat when I came over before the Estonia games. The manager told me to look after the ankle, not to have an operation unless it was necessary. I said to Trap, in jest, 'Don't forget about me'.

"He said he wouldn't do that, so I hope he's true to his word. Trap is a loyal manager and I hope that stands for something when the finals come around.

"I want to be on that plane to Poland or Ukraine in June. I have missed the last few games of the campaign with injury, first my calf and then my ankle, but I'd like to think I would have been involved or at least there or thereabouts for the last two games if I had been fit," added the Portsmouth man.

At the start of the campaign, Lawrence seemed to have his place in the team and the squad nailed down, but a poor display in the 3-2 home loss to Russia was the start of his slide.

"I started well -- I was playing well and in the team. I got my injury at the tail end of last season and for a while I was quite poor and my form dipped. At this level, if your form dips at all, you are out of the team. I had no grumbles with that, it's just football.

"One minute I was keeping Aiden McGeady and Stephen Hunt out of the team, and the next minute I'm not even involved as a sub.

"So it was a campaign of two halves for me, just when I was starting to find my form again with Portsmouth and getting ready to come away with Ireland I got the ankle injury, which knocked me back again.

"I didn't do very well against Russia at home, then I picked up injuries with Portsmouth and my form just went. It was the calf injury. I kept trying to come back too soon and I wasn't helping myself. This season I was just starting to find my feet and I got injured again."

So now the battle to work his way into Trapattoni's thoughts in the coming months begins. Looking at the Irish squad, it seems that 18-20 players are guaranteed, barring injury, to make it into the 23-man squad, leaving a batch of players -- like Lawrence, Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy -- with work to do.

"First I need to get my ankle right, then I need a strong run of form with my club to put myself into contention. I need a run of 20-odd games under my belt to get back to where I was," said Lawrence.

"There are a lot of players in the squad who can play in the positions that me and Hunty play in.

"Someone will miss out on the squad for the Euros -- it could be me, I know that.

"You maybe have 10 players fighting it out for two or three places in the squad.

"That's the reality of it. It will be tough to make it into the squad and tough for the manager to make that call, but it's down to us as players to impress him if he comes to see us.

"I would be the only Portsmouth player at the finals and that would be a big honour for the club.

"It would be such a proud moment for me, my family and the club if I was to get into the squad."


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