Sunday 20 October 2019

Pilkington to miss out on Irish debut for a fourth time

Anthony Pilkington of Norwich celebrates his goal yesterday
Anthony Pilkington of Norwich celebrates his goal yesterday

Norwich City winger Anthony Pilkington has confirmed he will miss Ireland's upcoming friendlies with England and Spain and the World Cup qualifier with the Faroe Islands through injury.

The 24-year-old was on the scoresheet in the Canaries 3-2 triumph over Manchester City yesterday but aggravated a knee injury.

Pilkington has been named in numerous squads by Giovanni Trapattoni but injury has scuppered any chance of making his Ireland bow.

He was called into Irish squads for the games against Serbia last August, Poland in February and the double header against Sweden and Austria but was injured on each occasion.

“The management and the physio have pulled me out – I’ve been struggling with my knee so I need to get treatment through the summer and an extra four games is not going to help me through pre-season,” said Pilkington.

“I need a rest and I need the treatment that I’m going to be getting through the summer in the off season, so hopefully I can put that behind me and come back pre-season 100pc fit.

"It’s unfortunate these injuries have popped up at the worst times for me. But like I say, I’ve got to put that behind me now, get right for next season and then hopefully see if I can get back in the squad.

“It wouldn’t be right for me to go away and them come back in pre-season struggling.

"I’ve had to manage the injury (to his patellar tendon) towards the end of the season and because of my knee, I’ve picked up a few hamstring injuries.

"So I’ll go away in the summer, work hard, get 100pc fit and come back flying.”

Pilkington has dodged an awkward situation as his honeymoon was due to clash with Ireland's summer fixtures but said that his wife-to-be Joleen was fully behind him whatever happened.

“She will always support me whatever I do – but she’s happy that she gets to go away,” he added.

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