March 16 2014 Latest news:
Friday, December 20, 2013
Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill has revealed Norwich City midfielder Nathan Redmond is on his radar.
O’Neill confirmed recent reports the new Irish management team will target players who could qualify for the Republic through family ties. Redmond has been a mainstay of England’s youth set-up after blossoming at Birmingham under Chris Hughton, but O’Neill and his assistant Roy Keane are keen to keep their options open as they build for the future. The likes of West Ham midfielder Mark Noble and former Norwich loanee Kyle Naughton have also been touted as potential recruits.
“Some players the previous manager maybe felt weren’t his cup of tea, I might disagree on and vice versa, that’s always the case as a manager,” said O’Neill. “But I’ve certainly seen on or two players who have interested me. One or two are doing well at the moment and I would like to bring them into the squad and there are one or two other younger lads that I’ve been quietly impressed with. I don’t want to individualise now but young Nathan Redmond plays at Norwich and I’m aware there might be some kind of connection.”
Wes Hoolahan and Anthony Pilkington were both in the mix under O’Neill’s predecessor Giovanni Trapattoni. Hoolahan featured prominently for the new Irish managerial duo’s first games in charge last month against Lativa and Poland, when they took charge of a squad initially selected by caretaker coach Noel King. O’Neill will aim to put his own group together for the March 5 visit of Serbia and the 61-year-old is not ruling out a potential attempt to coax Shay Given out of international retirement. O’Neill recognises the next few months will be different from any other in his long coaching career with the ex-Norwich City manager rarely out of the day-to-day club game in 25 years, which included distinguished spells at Leicester and Celtic, but he must now maintain a watching brief as his new charges get on with domestic duties.
“When we came back from the last game in Poland (in November) it was interesting - we said ‘cheerio’ to the players and then I don’t see them collectively again until March,” said O’Neill. “Of course I will watch them play but I did think that was really strange and it didn’t hit home for a day or two. But as the weeks go on you get to see more games and it gets easier. The point about club management as opposed to international management, I knew it existed but it was kind of strange. I’ll get to see as many games as possible, with Roy covering other matches, and we’ll collate information. It’s now about gathering as much information as I can and seeing as many players I can.”