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Saturday 24 February 2018

Flood hoping to catch Trap's eye on return to Scotland

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

AN Ireland cap may be the furthest thing from Willo Flood's mind right now, but he hasn't given up on his dreams of wearing the green jersey.

Once the shining Irish light of his generation, the 26-year-old has returned to Dundee United in order to reignite a career stalled by injury -- and Tony Mowbray.

If an Ireland call were to come his way, he'd jump at the chance and the Dubliner says he can't understand the mentality of those who don't answer Ireland's call.

"Do you know what? With everything that has gone on in the last 18 months, two years, I wouldn't even think about an Ireland cap," he said.

"I'm only 26, I would like one cap, you know? I've seen a few players that don't deserve caps who got caps and I wouldn't mind being one of them even.

"I don't understand players not turning up. I just think it's in your blood to represent your country and I just can't get my head around why people wouldn't turn up."

As a former trainee at Manchester City, Flood is close to Stephen Ireland and has to agree to disagree with his old team-mate about his decision to stay away from international football.

Flood reckons there will be no going back, but he believes Ireland will get back to playing his best football soon.


"Stephen is a complex character," he said. "I just think that's his decision and he's just strong minded about his decisions. He's always been strong minded, even as a kid. I don't think there's any going back on it.

"He felt as if he had a bit of a rough time and he felt he'd be better off with his family in England. It's only a matter of time before he gets back to his best."

Flood has had a difficult time since his dream move to Celtic went sour under Mowbray.

Gordon Strachan lured him to Middlesbrough and he took to life in the Championship well, but injury haunted him, the manager was sacked and in came Mowbray again. "I think it's safe to say that Tony Mowbray doesn't fancy me as a player," he said with a wry smile.

"I definitely knew the second time, but to be fair I knew the first time. The last 18 months has been the hardest part of my football career.

"With the injuries, it takes it's toll and that's why I've come to back. Me and the manager (Stephen Thompson) get on well and I've played my best football under him so hopefully I can pick up where I left off."

Meanwhile, Jamie O'Hara has finally ended speculation that he might declare for Ireland by committing himself to England.

The midfielder, who recently completed a £5m move to Wolves from Tottenham, played for the nation of his birth up to U-21 level.

Irish Independent

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