Aviva Stadium

Next Game

Rep Ireland v Turkey

Sunday, 25 May 2014, 18:00

International Match

Aviva Stadium

Last Game

Rep Ireland 1 - 2 Serbia

Wednesday, 05 March 2014, 19:45

International Match

O'Neill opens door for Given

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill would welcome goalkeeper Shay Given back into the international fold with open arms.

Last Updated: 19/12/13 at 15:29 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  World Cup. Click here to bet.

Shay Given: Could return for Republic of Ireland

Shay Given: Could return for Republic of Ireland

World Cup 2014

Check out the latest outright odds on next summer's World Cup in Brazil

O'Neill is currently plotting how he can make his mark on the squad he inherited following Giovanni Trapattoni's sacking in September - a slightly frustrating task given a three-month wait before his next fixture.

O'Neill, along with assistant Roy Keane, was in the dugout for the first time during November's friendly double header against Lativa and Poland, but took charge of a squad initially selected by caretaker coach Noel King.

He will put his own group together for the March 5 visit of Serbia and the 61-year-old would be interested in hearing from Given, who retired on 125 caps last summer and is currently 37.

After being relegated to the Aston Villa bench, Given has been revitalised by a loan move to Middlesbrough and could provide serious competition for the likes of Keiren Westwoood and David Forde.

"I would not discount that at all," said O'Neill.

"I haven't spoken to Shay but I would like to at some stage, if he says 'I'm back'.

"But I am having a conversation here about somebody I haven't actually spoken to. I know Shay and I've spoken to him a number of times but that was before I took the job on.

"I may be a million miles out of my ground because he may have no intention of coming back, but I certainly wouldn't discount it if I'd had that conversation and he was thinking about coming back."

O'Neill is keen to add to his options in any way possible and has previously suggested that West Ham's former England Under-21 international Mark Noble could be offered the chance to switch allegiance, while he would happily end Stephen Ireland's self-imposed exile.

The assessment of age-group players - as well as the identification of players such as Norwich winger Nathan Redmond who, like Noble, may be eligible to play for the Republic through familty ties - also promises to occupy O'Neill's time.

"Some players the previous manager maybe felt weren't his cup of tea, I might disagree on and vice versa, that's always the case as a manager," he said.

"But I've certainly seen on or two players who have interested me.

"One or two are doing well at the moment and I would like to bring them into the squad and there are one or two other younger lads that I've been quietly impressed with.

"I don't want to individualise now but young Nathan Redmond (a current England U21) plays at Norwich and I'm aware there might be some kind of connecction."

Regardless of the tasks O'Neill has set himself, the next few months will be different from any other in his coaching career.

He has rarely been out of the day-to-day club game in 25 years since starting out as a boss but must now maintain a watching brief as his new charges get on with their domestic duties.

"When we came back from the last game in Poland (in November) it was interesting...we said 'cheerio' to the players and then I don't see them collectively again until March," O'Neill added.

"Of course I will watch them play but I did think that was really strange and it didn't hit home for a day or two. But as the weeks go on you get to see more games and it gets easier.

"The point about club management as opposed to international management, I knew it existed but it was kind of strange.

"I'll get to see as many games as possible, with Roy covering other matches, and we'll collate information.

"It's now about gathering as much information as I can and seeing as many players I can."

Bet with SkyBet  World Cup. Click here to bet.

World Cup 2014

Check out the latest outright odds on next summer's World Cup in Brazil

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments


e was right to leave, but not just because of the money City were coming into. If I remember rightly he had a reasonable amount of chances to shine at City, but he never passed the bloody ball. Loads of aimless dribbles and 40 yard shots and not much else. I would say that if he had learnt to be a bit more of a team player he may have done better at City.

bright and edgy
Sturridge: Right to leave City


h! And.... has it gone in!?' Well John, it is quite literally your job to tell me, so stop phrasing it as a question.

Eye On The Experts: John Motson


an who resembles bond villain complains about spies ....brillliant

Palace deny spying accusation

Footer 365

Premier League: Peter Whittingham refusing to give up on Cardiff's survival bid

Peter Whittingham believes there is still all to play for as Cardiff City scrap to secure their Premier League status.

Premier League: David de Gea wants European football at Manchester United

David de Gea says Man United are determined to ensure that they will be competing in European competition next season.

Premier League: Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini stands by selection

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini insists he has no regrets about starting Vincent Kompany at Liverpool on Sunday.

Mail Box

Worried Liverpool Will Become A Selling Club

Liverpool fans in the mailbox are not too worried about sour grapes from United supporters, but one admits he's scared the Reds could end up selling their best players...

United Should Have Gone For Bruce And Hughes

A mailbox asking why United did not go for two old boys over Moyes, what Wenger's targets were for the season and whether he's had a better season than Pellegrini..?

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property