Martin O'Neill dropped a hint about who could be his starting goalkeeper at Euro 2016.
At today's press conference, the Ireland manager acknowledged that Rob Elliot regularly starting for Newcastle in the Premier League gives him an 'advantage' over Darren Randolph.
Elliot has started 21 games for Newcastle in the Premier League this season due to a knee injury sustained by Tim Krul during an international game against Kazakhstan back in October. Darren Randolph is playing for West Ham this season but only in FA Cup games at the moment. That severely limits his chances in comparison to Elliot.
It certainly helps, no question about that. If he continues in the form that he's showing at the minute, that'd be great. We've a seven or eight matches left the play yet and that would certainly be good for him. Darren has done exceptionally well.
I imagine it would be a decent advantage to him, the very fact that he is playing pretty regularly.
The Ireland manager also revealed his plan for the two goalkeepers during the friendlies against Switzerland and Slovakia.
I want Darren Randolph to start one of the games and Robbie Elliot to start the other one. Which one for Friday and Tuesday, I'm not sure yet. Particularly, I think it would work out well because Robbie doesn't have much international experience. Darren, when playing for West Ham, has done exceptionally well. The longer they stay in the FA Cup, the better for him. We'll see how they done.
Darren has done very well, stepped into that game after Shay was injured against Germany, took it in his stride and has done exceptionally well.
Robbie, I think, has surprised and exceeded expectations up there at Newcastle at the moment.
Given O'Neill's remarks, you would have to suspect that should Robbie Elliot play well in whichever friendly game he starts - be it against Switzerland or Slovakia - and if his form does not plummet between now and the end of the season, he should be favourite to start against Sweden on June 13th.
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