Holland rules out Republic return

Charlton midfielder Matt Holland has decided to call time on his international career with the Republic of Ireland.

The 31-year-old won his 49th cap when the Republic failed to qualify for the World Cup play-offs after a 0-0 draw with Switzerland.

Holland told The Mail on Sunday: “I’d near enough made up my mind when I walked off the pitch after the Switzerland game.

“I was wrapped up in the disappointment of not qualifying for the World Cup, so I had to give it a while before finalising my decision. I realise that now is the right time to quit.

“Steve Staunton tried to talk me out of it. He said I still had another campaign in me and that he wanted me around for the European qualifiers. But this is the right decision.

“I have to think about the future and what’s right for me. I’m 32 in April and want to carry on playing for Charlton as long as possible.

“Not playing international football and all it entails can only help me achieve that.”

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