Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has decided to bring in Daryl Murphy back to international fold at the expense of Robbie Keane. The Ipswich Town man has been in fine form this season, but O’Neill took time to explain the decision to include him in the squad. The former Aston Villa manager says that he has had a look at Murphy and was impressed with what he offered on the pitch. He said that the performance against Blackpool was especially of greater significance towards his selection back to the international team.
Robbie Keane, who has been one of the finest players for Ireland over the last decade, will not be available for the upcoming friendly against Serbia. Both teams have failed to qualify for the World Cup 2014. As a result, this friendly match holds less significance especially given that the European championship qualifying matches do not begin until September. However, Ireland will learn their fate about the group opponents next week, as the draw is made by UEFA for this competition. The friendly matches against Turkey and Italy will hold greater significance with regard to team selection for the qualifying matches.
However, it does give Murphy an opportunity to cement himself in the national team, which is expected to undergo massive changes following the arrival of O’Neill.
“I thought Murphy played very well. I spoke to Mick who has been happy and if Robbie was not going to be involved, I thought, right, let us get him involved. I have only seen him once, live, but thought he did great (against Blackpool). I might revisit the McGoldrick situation once his injury clears. At this minute he is injured. I cannot transfer players but if at this minute young talent is not there, I can’t pick them,” said O’Neill.