The previous day we’d had Shay Given and now it was the Millwall keeper’s turn – but the crucial question is which of the two will get the nod from Martin O’Neill when it really counts on Sunday.
Given had told us he felt the manager had “a big decision” to make but Forde wasn’t inclined to get locked into a straight head-to-head debate.
“He’s got a big decision about the other ten too,” he parried. “We all want to play. I’m no different, Shay’s no different. I’ve huge admiration for Shay and what he has done for the country. At the end of the day we’re under the one flag, the one country, I just want to qualify for the Euros.”
Thus far, O’Neill has been unflinching in his backing for Forde, even going so far as to give him a private head’s up before the opening Euro qualifier away to Georgie against the backdrop of feverish speculation at the time that the returning Given might be about to reclaim the Number One shirt.
”Yes he has (been supportive),” Forde agreed.
“He pulled me aside before the Georgia game and gave me the nod. That was fantastic.”
Understandably then, the ‘keeper conceded who would feel very disappointed if he were to lose his place at this point. “Yeah, you would do,” he said. “I’ve been steady away and I’ve played some good games but it’s the manager’s decision, isn’t it?
“All I can do is keep performing and controlling what I do, that’s all I can do really, and the rest is up to the manager and the coaches, they’ll choose what they feel is the best way forward.
I’ve been happy with what I’ve done club-wise too and it’s just unfortunate to be in the position we’re in.”
He’s referring to the woes of Millwall, currently second from bottom in the Championship and, despite a fine performance by the Galwayman, unlucky to have three points snatched away from them when Brentford grabbed a 2-2 draw on Saturday – a game which, unbeknownst to Forde was attended by O’Neill. “Cheers for that,” he laughed when told the Ireland boss had been there. “But I seem to do ok when Martin’s around. I wish he came every week.”
Meantime, Forde appears calm in the face of all the renewed speculation this week, in keeping not just with his growing international experience
“I think my game has improved ten-fold since Trap brought me into the side,” he observed.
But also with something surprising which he revealed for the first time yesterday: an interest in meditation combined with study of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy.
“I’ll let you look that up,” he said with a grin.