John O’Shea admits he’s no different to all the Irish supporters who will be keeping their fingers crossed that, with Euro 2016 coming up in the summer, the various boys in green make it through the rest of the season intact.
Seamus Coleman, ruled out for three to four weeks with a calf injury he picked up against Manchester City this week, is a topical case in point.
“I’m watching the game thinking I shouldn’t be worried about Everton players,” says the Sunderland defender, “but I see Seamus go down with a few minutes left and you’re thinking ‘I hope it’s not too bad, a bit of cramp’, but they’re saying now he could be (out) for a few weeks.
“I shouldn’t be worrying about Everton players but there I am, watching the telly and hoping it’s not too bad. But that will be the case for everybody, I’m sure the management team as well, when they go to watch players.
“That’s going to be the case, as we know from previous campaigns: people will pick up an injury or a little strain or a niggle, and that’s where we’ve been fortunate, that we have the squad and the camaraderie and the commitment that everyone’s been able to pick up the pieces, do the job and get the results.”
O’Shea, in an interview to be broadcast on Newtalk’s Off The Ball today, says it should come as no surprise veterans such as himself, Shay Given and Robbie Keane continue to answer their country’s call.
“That has to be the case,” he says. “That was your dream growing up as a kid, to play for your country and try to get to major tournaments. You’re not just going to give up on those things.
“Obviously, a few of the lads had retired and the experience around the squad would have been limited in terms of the numbers of games that other lads might have played.
“But also you’re not going to do it just to turn up; you feel that you have something to offer. That’s the most important thing, that you’re still able to do it on the pitch.”
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