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Page last updated at 12:03 GMT, Monday, 19 January 2009

Ireland remains out for Republic

Stephen Ireland
Stephen Ireland has been in fine form for Manchester City this season

Manchester City's Stephen Ireland remains out of the Republic of Ireland picture for the World Cup qualifier against Georgia on 11 February.

Ireland is continuing his international exile while Andy Reid is again left out by manager Giovanni Trapattoni.

Steve Finnan and Stephen Kelly return to the 25-man squad for the Croke Park clash after injury.

Noel Hunt retains his place in the 25-man squad after being a late call-up for the friendly against Poland.

The Reading man is preferred to Anthony Stokes while Coventry's Keiren Westwood gets the third goalkeeping slot.

Westwood is preferred to Scunthorpe's Joe Murphy.

Speculation had mounted that Manchester City midfielder Ireland would end his self-imposed exile by declaring himself available for his country once again.

However, Trapattoni has yet to receive a direct approach from the 22-year-old.

606: DEBATE
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Ireland pulled out of the Republic squad prior to a Euro 2008 qualifier against the Czech Republic in September 2007 and he has not played for his country since then.

He withdrew from the squad for the Prague game, initially citing the passing of his maternal grandmother, and then the death of his paternal one, before it emerged that his girlfriend had suffered a miscarriage.

Sunderland midfielder Reid has not had a single minute on the pitch in an international since the Italian's arrival in May.

After initially claiming that he had "no problem" with Reid, Trapattoni did say in a later interview that the midfielder had breached a 1am curfew three days before the World Cup qualifier against Montenegro.

However, Trapattoni's explanation for leaving out Reid is the manager's claim that the Sunderland midfielder does not fit into his system of play.

Speaking after his squad announcement, Trapattoni made little attempt to hide his irritation when he was questioned about the continuing absence of Ireland and Reid.

"My habit for 30 years has been I never speak about private situations - not only Reid or Ireland, but all players. I don't want to speak about this situation."

We will wait for him, and he must decide. Now it's up to him
Giovanni Trapattoni on Stephen Ireland

Trapattoni has made attempts to convince Ireland to return to international duty but the manager insists that the Manchester City man must make the next move.

"In the first place, we met him. He said, 'When I'm ready, I will call you'.

"I cannot call him again. We will wait for him, and he must decide. Now it's up to him."

Like Birmingham's Lee Carsley, Reid does not seem to have any prospect of an imminent return as he also fights for a regular starting berth on Wearside.

Trapattoni said: "I choose a system. I think about Andy Reid and Lee Carsley, and I think about Ireland.

"I need the players to repeat, repeat and repeat this system and we have a problem. Three or four of our players play always for their clubs, but the others don't."

The Republic defeated Georgia 2-1 in the German city of Mainz in September to launch their qualifying campaign and went on to forge a good position in the group by drawing in 0-0 Montenegro and beating Cyprus 1-0 in Dublin.

Trapattoni's side are currently second in Group 8 - three points adrift of world champions Italy, but with a game in hand.


Republic of Ireland squad

Goalkeepers: Given (Newcastle), Kiely (West Brom), Westwood (Coventry)

Defenders: McShane (Sunderland), O'Shea (Manchester United), Dunne (Manchester City), Kilbane (Hull), Bruce (Ipswich), Delaney (QPR), Foley (Wolves), Kelly (Birmingham), Finnan (Espanyol)

Midfielders: McGeady (Celtic), Andrews (Blackburn), Gibson (Manchester United), Whelan (Stoke), Duff (Newcastle), S Hunt (Reading), Miller (QPR), Keogh (Wolves)

Forwards: Keane (Liverpool), Doyle (Reading), N Hunt (Reading), Folan (Hull), Long (Reading)

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see also
Ireland sorry after Republic lie
14 Sep 07 |  Internationals
Reid left out of Republic squad
10 Nov 08 |  Internationals
Republic of Ireland 1-0 Cyprus
15 Oct 08 |  Internationals
Trapattoni relieved after victory
15 Oct 08 |  Internationals
Gibson included in Republic team
14 Oct 08 |  Internationals
Trapattoni rejects Reid row talk
13 Oct 08 |  Internationals
Pick your Rep of Ireland XI
05 Feb 07 |  Internationals


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