No pain, no gain for O’Dea

DARREN O’DEA has declared himself fit for the fray in Skopje on Saturday.

The Celtic defender, who has been out on loan at Ipswich Town, missed the end of the club season with an ankle injury but has recovered faster than expected and was able to get through 65 minutes of Ireland’s 1-0 win against Scotland in the Carling Nations Cup decider on Sunday.

“I’m actually fine, but I’m sore,” he says. “They were talking about giving me an injection at half-time but decided against it as I was only going to play another 15 minutes.

“My ankle is fine. The game was a case of getting my feet moving again in a game situation. I’m absolutely fine for Saturday and looking forward to being involved.”

O’Dea is getting married on June 16, which takes care of his long-term future. However, his short-term future is less clear beyond being due back at Celtic Park for pre-season training just six days later on June 22.

“I certainly won’t be going out on loan again,” he says.

“I just have to wait and see if I go permanently. I really don’t know, but I won’t be going up to warm a bench again at Celtic. The club has been great and I’ve been there my whole career. I’d hope that after giving everything to them, if the plan is for me to leave that it would be a clean cut.

“I’m not saying I’m done at Celtic, I’ll just wait and see what happens in the summer. If I do well in pre-season who knows? I’m sure my agent will be looking around different clubs and assessing my options.

“I have a great relationship with Neil Lennon, there is no issue there or nothing. At the start of the season he wanted me to stay but I’m at a stage in my career where I want to be playing every week.

“He said I would be fighting for my place so I thought it would be best to go out on loan. It worked out well for me at Ipswich. But look, there is no issue with me going back to Celtic. It’s just about whether I play or not. ”


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