JEFF HENDRICK is confident that his lack of competitive practice will not hinder his ability to make an impact for Ireland in their Euro 2020 qualifier with Switzerland on Thursday.
Hendrick has lost his place with Burnley as he enters the final year of his contract, with his only start in the new English season coming in their League Cup defeat to Sunderland.
Mick McCarthy has left Shane Long out of his squad because of his club situation at Southampton, but he indicated last week that he had no fears about Hendrick because of his physical conditioning.
Hendrick said this morning that he has been doing extra work in training with Burnley with the international window in mind.
"I'm not really concerned," said Hendrick, who will win his 50th cap against the Swiss. "It's still early in the season and I've had a full pre-season. I played the most minutes out of our whole squad in pre-season.
"But he (Sean Dyche) stuck with the lads who started at the end of last season and kept us in the league. I'm doing extras every day to try and get in the manager's eye to get back in the team.
"The last two weeks I've played the full 90 in the cup and a reserve game at the training ground to make sure I'm right. As the weeks go by and the international games were coming up, that's what was in my mind. At the moment, I'm feeling fit and raring to go."
Losing a star player in curious circumstances in the build-up to a match of substance? At another time, Mick McCarthy could probably sympathise with his Swiss counterpart Vladimir Petkovic.
The draw for the Euro 2020 qualifiers saw gasps of breath, and not in a good way, from one part of this island. They came from Northern Ireland fans, reacting to the news that their team was in the same group as Germany and Holland.