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Premier League Regular Ready To 'Swallow Pride' And Make Ireland Comeback

Premier League Regular Ready To 'Swallow Pride' And Make Ireland Comeback
By PJ Browne Updated

It hasn't quite come from the horse's mouth, but it's pretty close.

According to both his manager Alan Pardew and teammate Scott Dann, Damien Delaney is ready to renege on his international retirement decision and be a part of Martin O'Neill's squad if asked.

Speaking to Paul Rowan for The Sunday Times, Pardew said that he believes Delaney, who announced his international retirement back in August, would be willing to return.

I think he would. I think he is big enough and bold enough to swallow his pride and do the right thing.

Scott Dann, who partners Delaney in central defence for Crystal Palace, is someone to whom the Corkman appears to have related his renewed international ambition.

I’m sure deep down he would want to play at the Euros. He’s playing week in, week out, in the Premier League and he is playing well. He’s good enough to play for Ireland, he’s shown that. If he was asked the question, I know what the answer would be.

Delaney is a regular starter for Crystal Palace, making 24 appearances for the London side in all competitions this season.

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If Delaney is to return, he would almost certainly have to be part of the upcoming March friendlies against Switzerland, Slovakia and Netherlands. Given the deficit of regular football which some of Martin O'Neill's current central defence options are getting, the 34-year-old should not be ruled out.

Delaney's August retirement was made via a statement on his Instagram account.

In it, he denied that he had any issues with Roy Keane though did cite disagreements with Martin O'Neill.

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Good afternoon... I just want to clarify my position with regards to the Ireland national team and my omission from the current squad.

I have no issue with Roy Keane and shook his hand this summer at a Cork City European match.

I know that at the age of 34 the future of Irish football does not lie with me, the rigours of premier league football and the 24/7 dedication required takes its toll so I look on the international break as a chance to recover, that said I spoke to Martin O Neill and contrary to his recent comments I never asked for a regular starting position.

I did however disagree with certain aspects which out of respect to Martin and the national team will remain private. Ireland need to plan for the long term even if it means sacrificing one maybe two major tournaments.

We need to build an identity and team ethos from schoolboy football to full international that will last. I understand people weren't enamoured with Mr. Trapattoni but whether you agreed with his philosophy or not you have to respect the man and the results he achieved with his philosophy.

There are many footballing philosophies and we need to choose one that suits Irish traits and strengths best, similar to what Wales are now achieving or what Mr. Trapattoni achieved in his time in charge.

I'll always be an ardent supporter and wish I could of contributed more... #coybig #identity.

Picture: Ireland Jersey To Commemorate Centenary Of Easter Rising

Read: James McClean Tweets His Disapproval As Footage Of Supposed Coin-Thrower Surfaces

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