Thursday 18 January 2018

“He must have been all around England yesterday” - Irish players react to Walters return

Jonathan Walters returns to Irish training ahead of Euro qualifiers

Roy Keane: it helps Walter's confidence that clubs are interested in him
Roy Keane: it helps Walter's confidence that clubs are interested in him

Barry Lennon

THE Ireland squad were happy to see the return of Jonathan Walters today after the striker failed to make a move from Stoke before the end of the transfer deadline.

Walters flew back for training this morning after manager Martin O'Neill allowed the striker to stay in England before the window closed – to deal with any potential move.

The Ireland team reported Walters was in 'good form' speaking at Abbotstown today ahead of their departure to play Gibralta on Friday. 

Stoke defender midfielder Marc Wilson said his club teammate will continue to be a positive influence in the dressing room at the Brittania Stadium.

“He's a good lad. I sent him a few texts just to see how he's getting on,” said Wilson

“But it looks like they [the club] couldn't see eye-to-eye with any other clubs so he's a Stoke player for the rest of the year.”

“I can see why he might want to move. He's getting on a bit now. He's just trying to secure his own future for his family. I don't see anything wrong with that.

"He's great to have around with his determination, his attitude and he scores goals. A great guy to have around. All those things I could say them a million times.”

And as for the management staff – assistant boss Roy Keane didn't agree with the suggestion that Walters would be distracted by his failed transfer bid.   

“No, no. For the player? Not at all. He's experienced. In fact, it helps his confidence that a few clubs are interested in him," said Keane.

Jon Walters: returned
Jon Walters: returned

"He's upbeat. He was hoping that he might get a deal. But deals falls through that's  just the industry we're in."

"We thought something might happen. He might be a little disappointed. We've got a few days to work with him. It should be fine.”

Fellow Ireland player Stephen Quinn also had something to say about his international teammate and his attempt to get transfer out of Stoke.   

“Jon is a good lad. He's been back at training. His heat map must've been all around England yesterday. He's a bit of craic. I think he'll be ready for the weekend,” said Quinn.

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