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Bournemouth Boss Says Dropping Mark Travers Was 'Best For The Group'

24 March 2021; Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Mark Travers leaves the pitch with Republic of Ireland goalkeeping coach Dean Kiely, right, following the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying group A match between Serbia and Republic of Ireland at Stadion Rajko Mitic in Belgrade, Serbia. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

By PJ Browne Updated

Four days on from seeing nine goals fly by him as Bournemouth lost to Liverpool, Mark Travers found himself on the bench for his side's Premier League clash with Wolves.

In between the games, Scott Parker was sacked as manager of the club with Gary O'Neill installed as his temporary replacement.

O'Neill made four changes from that defeat against Liverpool for the clash with Wolves. Brazilian Neto came in for this debut as Ireland international Travers dropped out. The game finished goalless.

5 October 2021; Goalkeeping coach Dean Kiely with goalkeepers, from left, Mark Travers, Gavin Bazunu and Caoimhin Kelleher during a Republic of Ireland training session at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

"Leaving people out is always tough," O'Neill explained to the Daily Echo about the decision to drop Travers.

"It was a decision based around what I thought was best for the group and for Trav.

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"As always, decisions like that can go either way. So it was just a call that, when you’re in charge of the team, you have to make.

"I tried to make the right one."

Speaking after Saturday's game, Ireland legend Shay Given defended Travers, saying the goals were not his fault.

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"You're hoping some of his defenders might turn up at some point," said Given.

"You see some of the shots, he's the man that picked the ball out of the net nine times.

"It's a terrible day for any goalkeeper. If you go through each goal, he didn't have a chance with many of them."

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Last season, Travers played all but one game for Bournemouth in the Championship as they finished second in the table, and earned automatic promotion to the Premier League. The 23-year-old from Kildare kept 20 cleans sheets in those 45 Championship appearances.

See Also: Ranking All Of Robbie Keane's Key Late Goals For Ireland


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