SHAY GIVEN’S CHANCES of returning to the international fold seem unlikely after comments made by Giovanni Trapattoni yesterday.
The 36-year-old goalkeeper, who is the country’s most capped players, retired back in August but made a U-turn earlier this month by declaring himself available for selection again.
It was expected that the out-of-favour Aston Villa stopper would be left out of the squad for next month’s friendly with Poland and Keiren Westwood, David Forde and the uncapped Stephen Henderson have filled the three slots.
When asked about Given’s future, however, Trapattoni did not sound keen on the possibility of bringing Given back into the squad barring a goalkeeping crisis.
“I have a lot of respect for Shay as a player,” Trap said. “When he spoke to us during our phone call he said to us that if we needed him, he’d be there.
“That shows great pride in the jersey, professionalism and seriousness that characterises Shay as a player. We’ll continue to follow him.”
Club mate Richard Dunne, meanwhile, has endured a torrid time with injuries since Euro 2012 but returned to training with Villa last week and will be hoping to prove his fitness after being placed on stand-by.
While Richard Dunne is optimistic, there are certainly question marks on whether he will make a full recovery in time for the game in February.
“So it’s a combination of those things that leads us to do a bit of experimentation and call in new players – not necessarily players that we already know.”