Thursday 26 April 2018

Arter: I won't let injury wreck my Euro 2016 dream

Bournemouth and Ireland midfielder Harry Arter
Bournemouth and Ireland midfielder Harry Arter
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Harry Arter believes that missing Ireland's friendlies with Switzerland and Slovakia could actually end up helping his Euro 2016 prospects.

The Bournemouth midfielder was expected to make his case for a spot in Martin O'Neill's 23 by featuring in the Dublin double header but an Achilles problem meant that he had to fly back to England on Monday night.

That followed a discussion with O'Neill and team doctor Alan Byrne which concluded that a rest would benefit the player with a view to ensuring he is in peak condition at the end of a season that has been interrupted by injury.

And that's why Arter feels that the short-term pain could result in long-term gain if he gets an opportunity to figure in the friendly with Holland on May 27 - O'Neill has confirmed that he will wait until after that fixture to select his squad for France.

"It's one of those injuries that I just have to have a little bit of rest rather than pushing through it," Arter told Newstalk last night. "Looking at the bigger picture, if I didn't rest now then I'd get to the point later in the season where I would have to. So to give myself the opportunity to finish strongly and try and get recognition for the Euros, it was the best decision now to stop.

"I spoke to Martin and the Irish doctor and it seemed the wisest thing to do was to get rest now and get it 100pc right. Looking forward, there's a lot to be excited for and to get fit for."

Roy Keane said that Arter's status as a Premier League regular will help his cause and the player is on board with the message.

"I know it sounds a bit of a cliche, but if you are performing well at club level that will give you the best chance to earn recognition," he said.

"My goals are to get fit, get back in the Bournemouth team and try and do as well as I can, and then if I'm given another chance in the Dutch game or in training when we meet, then I will do as well as I can to impress."

Arter's only Irish appearance came as a sub in the friendly with England last June. He exacerbated an injury which ruled him out until November.

Meanwhile, Belarus have emerged as a possible opponent for a friendly in Turner's Cross as an additional game ahead of Euro 2016.

O'Neill indicated yesterday that a full international to tie in with the training camp in Fota Island is on the agenda with Tuesday May 31 the likely date. Belarus are due to play Northern Ireland in Belfast on Friday May 27 and it's understood they have been approached about extending their trip.

Irish Independent

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