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O'Dea focused on Ipswich


Darren O'Dea Photo: Getty Images

Darren O'Dea Photo: Getty Images

Darren O'Dea Photo: Getty Images

Darren O'Dea is still desperate to establish himself at Celtic but admits he remained focused on Ipswich during the Parkhead club's recent defensive crisis.

Neil Lennon was left struggling at the turn of the year due to injuries to central defenders Daniel Majstorovic, Thomas Rogne and Glenn Loovens.

However, the Parkhead boss could not recall O'Dea from his loan spell at Portman Road, and had to use natural full-backs Charlie Mulgrew and Mark Wilson while simultaneously searching high and low - and ultimately without success - for a centre-back before the transfer window closed.

However, O'Dea, who came on as a late substitute for the Republic of Ireland in the 3-0 Carling Nations Cup win over Wales at the Aviva Stadium last night, insists that during Celtic's highly-publicised plight he had to concentrate on Ipswich and not on what might have been in Glasgow.

"It wasn't a frustration," he told Press Association Sport. "It is a season-long loan and because it involves two different FA's you can't be called back so it was never in my head.

"I'm a Celtic fan and I follow what's happening up there but from a football point of view, it was in the back of my mind because I tell you what, I went to Reading on loan last year and all I thought about was Celtic.

"It ruined my time there because I was so worried about was happening at Celtic.

"At the time Celtic had a lot of injuries and I was thinking I should be there.

"This time I have left Celtic and I have properly left them, in my head.

"Obviously it's a club I love and would love to play for, but at the moment my head is completely at Ipswich."

Dubliner O'Dea, who came through the ranks at Celtic Park, insists he will make a decision about his future at the end of the season.

"If you ever have to leave a club like Celtic it's going to be tough," he said.

"But whether I go back in the summer or not, I don't know.

"I speak to the players all the time and after I had an operation a while back, I was back at the club getting rehabilitation.

"But for now I am just concentrating on playing at Ipswich and we shall see what happens at the end of the season

"I am really enjoying my time there at the moment and I will let other things take care of themselves."

PA Media