Conor Hourihane said he couldn’t risk falling out of favour with Ireland after joining Swansea.
The Republic midfielder signed for the Welsh side on loan from Aston Villa until the end of the season after playing just four games in the Premier League this term.
Hourihane, 29, is still smarting from Ireland’s failure to reach Euro 2020 and wants to catch the eye of his national manager Stephen Kenny by starring in the Championship.
“I’ve got my foot in the door with international football and I’ve managed over the last 12 months to rack up a good few caps,” Hourihane said.
“I didn’t want to go into the World Cup qualifiers in March without playing games because it would have made me go from an Ireland starter to a substitute player and I didn’t want that to happen. Hitting good form and playing regularly for Swansea is only going to help me with the Ireland team as well. It was definitely in the back of my mind.”
Midfielder Hourihane was a regular for Ireland in 2020 and is now dreaming of what would be his third promotion with Swansea. Steve Cooper’s side are second in the Championship.
Hourihane is set for his Swansea debut in the FA Cup against Nottingham Forest today.
He hopes taking Swansea to the Premier League will help make up for the Euro 2020 qualifying heartbreak Kenny’s men suffered at the hands of Slovakia in October.
“That was disappointing of course. I want to get to a major tournament with Ireland before I finish my career and hopefully that can happen,” Hourihane said.
“I’ll have to work very hard and we’ve got the World Cup qualifiers starting in March. Hopefully that can go our way, but promotions are just as important to me.
“I’ve had one in League One with Barnsley and one from the Championship with Villa and it’s such a fantastic feeling when you get over the line. They’re special memories and live with you for the rest of your life. Hopefully we can do the same here.”