December 11 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Canaries winger Anthony Pilkington says he has always been committed to playing for the Republic of Ireland, despite a string of withdrawals from Giovanni Trapattoni’s squad.
The 25-year-old is with the Irish ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Sweden on Friday.
His inclusion follows five withdrawals since he was first called up in February, but Pilkington – who suffered a knee injury during pre-season which forced him out of the first two Premier League games of the season – says his loyalty should never be doubted.
“Obviously, I can see why people started talking,” he said. “But I’d be no good to anyone coming here and playing with a dodgy knee or a torn hamstring. I wouldn’t be helping myself or the country.
“People need to realise that I had the injuries. I was always committed. The first time I had to pull out my bags were packed, ready to come over.
“We had a morning game and we were due to fly out, me and Wes (Hoolahan) after the game. I got injured during the game. I’m over here now and I’m excited for the game and hopefully get a good week’s training, and pick up the points that we need on Friday.”
Pilkington says the Football Association of Ireland and Norwich City had been in constant contact over his situation.
“[Giovanni Trapattoni] understood, the medical teams both spoke to each other constantly,” he said. “The boss was always talking to me on text, there was always communication between both parties at all times. Luckily, he kept calling me up and my knee feels all right at the moment.”