FORMER Republic of Ireland manager Jack Charlton believes Stephen Ireland’s international future can be easily resolved by the player himself.
The Manchester City midfielder gained notoriety in September last year when he withdrew from the Republic’s Euro 2008 qualifier against the Czech Republic after telling then national team boss Steve Staunton his grandmother had died.
Eventually, after claiming his other grandmother had died, it emerged the real reason Ireland had returned home was because his girlfriend Jessica had suffered a miscarriage.
The 22-year-old has not played for the Republic since and was recently quoted as saying he did not miss the international scene, instead preferring to concentrate on his club football and family commitments.
However, he refused to rule out returning in the future.
Charlton believes Ireland can dictate his own future but is shocked by the player’s behaviour.
When asked his opinion of what Ireland should do Charlton responded bluntly: “Apologise, come and play and say you’re sorry for what you said and what you did or bugger off and don’t bother.’’
Charlton added: “I wouldn’t have stood for that at all.”
The former England defender also unfavourably compared Ireland’s attitude towards playing for his country with that of other players.
“I never had anybody say to me that they didn’t want to play, for Ireland, that was unheard of. I don’t know what he (Ireland’s) thinking,” Charlton added.
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