Martin O'Neill joked that he will have to get a season ticket for Burnley Football Club now that Jon Walters will be playing alongside Robbie Brady and Jeff Hendrick at Turf Moor for the upcoming campaign.
O'Neill had a few words to say about Walters and Ireland's top performers at Euro 2016 when asked about them in Kilkenny for the FAI Cup first round draw on Friday [via Independent.ie]:
It looks as if I’m going to get a season ticket up at Turf Moor . . . Robbie Brady as well hasn’t made the impact he wanted to after getting that move from Norwich to Burnley. . . I'm expecting better things from them as they get older."
O'Neill also remarked that he felt Jeff Hendrick's recent court hearing could have affected his form last season, Hendrick was found not guilty of violent disorder after an incident that occurred in a nightclub in October 2013.
The Republic of Ireland manager hope's that the former St. Kevin's man can kick on for the forthcoming Premier League season:
I don't think you want things hanging around you like that. They can be disconcerted. It's good it's cleared now and he can get his mind totally fixed and ready.
I think he can play behind strikers, and I think he should score more goals... I think he's got the ability to do that. At club level, if you've midfielder who can score 10-12 goals from normal play, you've got yourself a proper player and that's something he can aim for. Can he sit in and do a holding job? That's not outside his capability.
Ireland's World Cup campaign stagnated slightly in 2017 with two draws at home but a return to form from Brady and Hendrick would be a welcome boost to the business end of the qualification process for the World Cup next year.
Hendrick himself admitted on Instagram that he was not happy with his contribution after Ireland's games in June, but hopefully after putting those legal worries behind him he can enjoy a positive start to the Premier League season and get back to his best in the green jersey.