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Harte: There are a lot of players in the squad who are not even Irish

IAN HARTE has again lashed out at Giovanni Trapattoni for his exclusion from the Irish squad, with the newly promoted veteran sore that players who weren't born in the country will go to this summer's finals ahead of him.

The left-back has enjoyed a career resurgence at Reading, but hasn't figured in Trapattoni's plans. He claimed last year that the Italian didn't know he was Irish and repeated that claim in his latest outburst.

"I played pretty well last year as well," said Harte. "The manager, Giovanni Trapattoni did not come and get me then.

"I was speaking to a few of the players and they said he did not realise I was Irish, even though I have played 67 times, scored 11 goals and am the second leading scorer in the squad.

"You have just got to laugh about it. It would be nice for a shout, but I don't think it will happen."

ASSERTION

Stephen Ward has emerged as Ireland's first choice option in Harte's favoured position, with Kevin Kilbane relegated to the periphery. But 34-year-old feels he could offer something and challenged the assertion that his lack of speed is a problem.

"I know what I bring to the team," he continued. "People have said for the last 10 years that I might have lost my pace, but I have never had the pace.

"It is all about being clever and getting the better of your opponent.

"I am Irish as well and there are a lot of players in the Irish squad that are not even Irish. For me I have played 67 times and I love pulling on the green shirt."

At least Harte is wanted by Reading manager Brian McDermott, a man who one day has ambitions to manage Ireland. He has spoken to the Drogheda native about extending his contract so he can play a part in the Premier League adventure.

"I spoke to the gaffer last week and he wants me to stay, which I'm delighted about," continued Harte.

"Hopefully, it will be resolved in the next few days, there shouldn't be any issues."