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Sep 19, 2013

Gibson ready to end Ireland exile

Everton midfielder Darron Gibson will make himself available to the newly appointed Republic of Ireland manager following his self-imposed exile from the national team.

Darron Gibson has not played for Ireland since before the European Championship last year.
Darron Gibson has not played for Ireland since before Euro 2012.

Gibson, who was refusing to play for Ireland while Giovanni Trapattoni was in charge, claimed he was “embarrassed” to be associated with a team that lost its way under the guidance of the veteran Italian, but he is ready to return ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

“I’m ready [to come back] because Trapattoni is gone and if I’m called up, I’ll come straight back in,” Gibson stated in an interview with the Irish Independent.

“I never really wanted to make a big deal of it, but after what happened at the Euro 2012, I just felt I couldn’t play under him anymore. I was embarrassed when I came back from the Euros [after] not winning a game and not getting on the pitch.

“I was playing every week at the time for Everton and we finished in the top six of the Premier League. Obviously I didn’t get on and I just felt he had some sort of problem with me, but I felt he had a problem with me before the Euros as well as I never played.

“Like I said, I didn’t want to make a big deal about not playing under him, so I kept myself quiet, but I am available to come back now. There were people saying that I didn’t deserve to put the green jersey back on, but they don’t know what happened and don’t know how I felt because I’ve never spoken about it.”

Martin O’Neill is the firm favourite to replace Trapattoni as Ireland boss, with Gibson also eager to endorse Roy Keane as a viable candidate for the post.

“I think O’Neill would be quite good, he’s experienced and I think he’d get on quite well with all of the lads, he’s supposed to be really good one-on-one with players,” Gibson said.

“Roy (Keane) would be quite good, I’m not sure how some of the fans would react. He’d be good, but I am sure the FAI will pick the right manager.”

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