ANDY REID has not given up hope of returning to Ireland’s colours, despite his current outsider status in Giovanni Trapattoni’s regime.
Sunderland’s Reid, 28 last month, is on the way back to full match fitness after six months out injured with a calf problem.
He did, though, take a major step towards his goal of returning to Premier League action when he played 90 minutes for the club’s reserves against Wigan on Tuesday, although the shift was not enough to get Reid into the frame for their Premier League clash with Wigan today.
Reid’s spell on the sidelines through injury, however, is nothing compared to his time in the international wilderness since becoming estranged from Trappatoni two years ago.
The player has not figured in the last 26 international call-ups but Reid, who scored three goals in 27 appearances, insisted he would not turn his back on his Republic of Ireland career.
“I am very optimistic that at some stage in the future I will play for Ireland again,” Reid said. “Being realistic, it’s hard to see me getting back into the Ireland squad under the present manager.
“I’ve said 100 times and I’ll say it again: I am ready to play for my country any time and anywhere.
“There is no change in tack or big decision from my end, I am not quitting or walking away.
“I will remain available for Ireland as long as possible.”