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Reid hints he might answer Ireland call in emergency

STEVEN REID has hinted he would be available in an emergency for Ireland's Euro 2012 bid, but says that retiring from international football has positively impacted on his club career.

The West Brom man hung up his Irish boots after a period of exile that followed a dispute with Giovanni Trapattoni over his recovery from a long-term knee injury.

Reid was unhappy with comments that Trapattoni made about his chances of a full return to his best; and the Italian seemed intent on persisting with different options as a consequence.

While the 30-year-old has indicated that he would be open to persuasion on a comeback, he seems less certain now.

After starting 14 league games in a row -- predominantly at right back rather than midfield -- Reid feels his body is in good shape.

"Would I come back? At this moment in time, probably not," says Reid. "Next summer, if there were a few injuries and they were in desperate need, then you never know. But I've started 14 games on the spin, which is more than I've done for quite a while.

"At the moment I'm delighted with that and the fact I'm staying fit. I think retiring from international football has helped me. With international football I would have had another four, five or six games and instead I get the chance to recover.

"I think it's helped. If I had had those games in midweek and been flying back from the other side of Europe to play in the Premier League it would have been a tough ask. I made the decision to prolong my club career and at the moment it's going really well."

O'Neill: Sunderland are in some trouble

Martin O'Neill admitted that Sunderland are "in a little bit of trouble" as he was unveiled as their manager yesterday. The Wearsiders are one point clear of the relegation zone, having lost seven and won just two of their 14 Premier League games this season, a run which led to Steve Bruce's dismissal last week.

This makes a strong start, in the home game with Blackburn Rovers on Sunday, a necessity. "We are in a little bit of trouble at the moment," O'Neill said. "Sunday's game is very important for us. The players are aware of that and we just need to start winning some matches."

O'Neill recognised the importance of some early wins as he attempts to generate some momentum and confidence at club. Sunderland travel to Tottenham and QPR before Christmas, and host Everton on St Stephen's Day.

"We can only go from this day forward and our situation is insecure. We need to win some football games for a start. The sooner we can do that, the better for everyone," he said.

Irish Independent