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Kevin Kilbane Has Some Very Strong Feelings On The Scott Hogan Situation

PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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Prior to Euro 2016, it appeared that if Ireland wanted Scott Hogan, then they could have him. In an interview with Independent.co.uk, the Brentford striker said that he'd find it tough to turn down Roy Keane, a childhood hero.

Then there is the Ireland thing, which again is a surprise. Roy Keane was at Huddersfield on Saturday apparently and if Roy Keane rang me up, I couldn’t say no to Roy Keane. He is one of my heroes.

In the interim, Hogan's star has continued to rise. There has been talk of him getting a Premier League move - soon. That could come in January or more likely in the summer. His price tag could be somewhere in the region of £10 - 12 million.

Worryingly, the chances that he will play for Ireland have become a little uncertain. O'Neill and Keane both want him to pull on the green shirt. He's extactly the type of player this goal-shy squad requires.

Kevin Kilbane on Scott Hogan situation

Discussing the situation on Off The Ball, Kevin Kilbane spoke passionately regarding Hogan and the pursuit of Irish qualified players. Hogan is eligible to play for Ireland as he has three Irish grandparents.

If he wants to play, great. I wouldn't go and pursue him and I've always been of that school of thought. If you to play, you play. If you don't, you don't. Thanks very much and you move on. We've been down this road before. I don't want a player saying he'll wait, he may come and play for us if he doesn't get another call-up.

It's almost if at times when we've been in this situation, we've been used. I think Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane are above that anyway. If he wants to play great. They've both been in this situation before, Martin and Roy, they know how to handle it. If he is [interested] you do everything necessary to get him. If not, thank you very much.

Hogan was called up to the Ireland U21 squad two years ago. He was with Rochdale at the time and chose not to accept the invitation as manager Keith Hill preferred that he stay with Rochdale due to them having a game.

This week, Michael Keane, the Burnley centre-back and former Ireland U21 international was called up to the England squad by Gareth Southgate. The trend of players representing Ireland at underage levels but then switching allegiance annoys Kilbane.

There's still a massive part of me that feels players can use it to an advantage for whatever reason. They just say 'I'll keep you in the distance, it might be something I'm looking at.' That's crap for me.

Michael Keane was called into the England squad. I know it's different but it winds me up and it always has done. A lad that can be prepared to play at youth level and almost just use it to get a few games at international level without fully committing to us, without committing to our side going forward. Again, maybe I'm a traditionalist but I don't buy that. I don't have that.

A fortnight ago, Derry City manager Kenny Shiels expressed his dislike of international football. He referred to the Ireland squad as the 'England reserves'. While Kilbane does not buy into Shiels' beliefs wholly, there are aspects he understands.

You spoke of Kenny Shiels before and he spoke about this last week in that there's no pride in playing for the shirt anymore. That I don't buy. There's certain parts to his argument that I get and I'll take. I'm probably in the same boat as him from that.

You can't be harbouring on playing international football and keeping other countries... playing into the managers of those sides hands. Saying 'I want to play' but still having negotiations. It's not a club deal, you're either in or you're out, that's the way that I see it.

Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

See Also: There's Good Reason To Be Optimistic About Richie Towell's Situation At Brighton



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