Sunday 19 November 2017

'Frustrated' Harry Arter makes a plea to Ireland boss Martin O'Neill

Republic of Ireland's David McGoldrick (left) and Harry Arter during a training session this week
Republic of Ireland's David McGoldrick (left) and Harry Arter during a training session this week
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Harry Arter has urged Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill to put his trust in him ahead of what he hopes will be his competitive international debut against Austria in Vienna on Saturday.

Arter has been forced to wait for his first start in an Ireland shirt as injuries have halted his ambitions of an appearance in a succession of high profile games.

While the in-form Bournemouth admits he was frustrated to be left out of the Ireland team for the World Cup qualifier in Serbia in September, he is now ready to shine as he looks to plug a void created by the absence of injured Everton midfielder James McCarthy.

“There are a lot of players in the Ireland squad who have been part of the set-up for a lot longer than me and the manager has trust in them,” Arter told us.

“The reality is that the boss doesn’t know me as well as he does a lot of the players and it’s up to me to gain his trust and force my way into the team.

“There is competition to get into the Ireland midfield and, while I have been a bit frustrated not to play in a competitive game so far, part of the reason for that is the injuries I have had around Ireland matches in the last year or so. I feel ready to make the step up now.

“It can’t do me any harm to be playing in the Premier League every week and the performances I have put in this season have probably been the best of my career.

“So if I get a chance to start for Ireland in Austria, I feel confident that I’ll be ready for that.

“Now I need to convince the man­ager that I should be in his team and I’m looking to giving my all in the training sessions ahead of the Austria game and hopefully getting picked.”

Arter has also hit back at criticism of the Ireland team, that has continued to flow despite a solid start to the World Cup qualifying campaign that has seen them collect seven points from their opening three games.

“Maybe some people need to have a bit of perspective on what is realistic for this Ireland team,” stated Arter.

“To have seven points from our first three matches is a great start and if we can get a positive result in Austria, we will be in a great position in this group.”

While the dream of playing in the World Cup finals in Irish green still seems distant for Arter, he is daring to cast an eye to an appearance at Russia 2018.

“I have never really thought about playing in a World Cup, but I suppose we should have that ambition in our minds,” he added.

“From my perspective, I have a lot of hard work to do to get into this Ireland team, but you look at the results in this qualifying group so far and we should be aiming high.

“Wales failed to beat Georgia last month and Austria lost in Serbia, so those results showed that our results so far have been impressive.

“This Ireland squad showed in the Euros that we can compete with some of the top teams when we are at our best and there’s no reason why we cannot come through this group because there is no clear favourite at this point.”

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