Republic of Ireland defender Darren O’Dea insists he would never reject a call-up to the international squad, unlike Darron Gibson.
Gibson stood a good chance of starting the Republic’s World Cup qualifier in Kazakhstan tomorrow due to an injury to Paul Green and the suspension of Keith Andrews, but the Everton midfielder turned down the chance to join up with Giovanni Trapattoni’s 23-man squad.
Gibson was still smarting from Trapattoni’s decision to leave him on the bench for the whole of Euro 2012 despite the fact that he went into the tournament in the best form of his career.
O’Dea is all too familiar with not playing for Trapattoni – he also did not make it off the bench in Poland – but the former Celtic man understands he must be patient like other players have had to be before him.
“Would I do what Darron has done? No. I’d show up every time. I will never, ever say no, and I can guarantee that,” O’Dea said.
“Everyone pays their dues. Richard Dunne did not play at the World Cup in 2002 and now it’s his turn in the team because he worked for it.
“I hope if I keep going the way I am going that one day I will have my turn and it will be someone else who doesn’t kick a ball.”
O’Dea insists Gibson should not be vilified for his stance, however.
The Toronto centre-back, who is due to win his 15th cap in Astana tomorrow night, says he understands why Gibson might have felt disappointed and insists the former Manchester United man will have put a lot of thought in to the decision.
“After the Euros I felt drained. I needed a break mentally and maybe Darron feels the same way,” O’Dea added.
“Maybe he hasn’t got over it but hopefully for the team’s sake and for everyone else’s sake he does because he is a good player and all the lads get on well with him.
“No one one knows his circumstances. He will have his own reasons. He certainly loves to play for Ireland so he won’t have taken this decision lightly.”
Trapattoni and his 23-man squad arrived in Astana last night after a 3,000-mile trip that lasted seven and a half hours.
There had been concerns over the fitness of James McClean, but the Sunderland winger has overcome his cold and travelled with the squad, although he is likely to start tomorrow evening’s game on the bench.