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European Qualifiers Group D

Forde issues Ireland warning

Republic of Ireland goalkeeper David Forde has warned Keiren Westwood he will not give up his No.1 spot without a fight.

Last Updated: 21/11/13 at 10:25 Post Comment

David Forde in action for the Republic of Ireland

David Forde in action for the Republic of Ireland

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Millwall stopper Forde was the first choice keeper of previous Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni last season.

Westwood initially took on the role after Shay Given retired from international football but struggled to displace Forde after falling behind Simon Mignolet in the pecking order at Sunderland.

But new Republic boss Martin O'Neill, who worked with Westwood at the Stadium of Light, named him in the starting line-up for the 3-0 win over Latvia in Dublin on Friday.

Forde looks set to come back in for Tuesday night's friendly against Poland and the Millwall player is unwilling to relinquish his place in the national side.

"Look, that's what you are going to get at international level. Everyone wants to play - you want to play for your country," he said.

"I know what I have done over the past year and I am just looking forward to the next challenge.

"All I can do is control what I have been doing. At the end of the day, it is down to David Forde and what I do. I don't get too worried about what everybody else is doing.

"That's all I can do, really. It took a long time (to get into the team). I am enjoying every game at the moment and I love just meeting up and being involved.

"It's a fantastic challenge for me and one I just keep looking forward to every time."

Forde also paid tribute to Alan Kelly, who was replaced as Ireland goalkeeping coach after an eight-year stint by Seamus McDonagh, who has previously worked with O'Neill at club level.

"That's just football, these things happen in football," added Forde.

"Alan Kelly has been fantastic for me in my development and in how I have improved as a goalkeeper.

"But we have the new goalkeeping coach now and I am just looking forward to working with him and see how we get on then."

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