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Enda Stevens has been forced to bide his time with Ireland.

A wing-back by trade, Enda Stevens may have thought he would have been a certainty to start under Stephen Kenny’s new system, but injuries have put pay to that certainty.

Stevens has struggled with injury for most of the recent camps, with James McClean and Ryan Manning slotting in, instead of the former Shamrock Rovers star.

But he has come through his latest injury setback, and will be hopeful that he can kick on and make his mark in Kenny’s latest squad during the upcoming four-game Uefa Nations League window in June.

“It was bad timing, and I am just happy to be here..”

Ireland travel to Armenia on Wednesday, landing more than 48 hours before Saturday’s showdown in Yerevan. And Stevens is looking to make up for some lost time with the Boys in Green.

Enda Stevens

“Obviously, it is disappointing to miss out on the camps,” he explained. “It was just bad timing and I am happy to be here.

“It’s always an honour to play for your country and it’s one that I really missed. I’m just happy that I got over a few little knocks I had so I can just look forward to the games.”

Ireland head into a daunting schedule of four games in 11 days, with two trips abroad beginning, and concluding the camp. While the trips will bring their challenges, Stevens is confident that Ireland can deliver during the intense four-game window.

“We don’t really look at it,” he explained. “We just look at it on a game by game basis. It’s a lot of games, but it is like we play during the season with Saturday and Tuesday’s.

“That’s the way that you have to look at it and the strength of the squad is huge. I think every single one of us will be involved somewhere down the line.”

“That’s the positive thing, he wants to give you the chance to go up and express yourself as high up the pitch..”

Should the Dubliner get his chance to impress, it is likely that he will play as a left wing-back, marauding forward for the Boys in Green, just as he does at club level.

“It’s quite similar,” he replied when asked if the demands placed on him with Ireland are different with the Blades. “[Stephen Kenny] just wants wants to see it more as an attacking position than a defensive position and get as high up the pitch as possible to get that freedom.

“It gives you that freedom to see the game for yourself and play important crosses, shots and goals.  That’s the positive thing, he wants to give you the chance to go up and express yourself as high up the pitch.

“He doesn’t want the ball for the sake of it, he wants to penetrate and run forward, and I think that is what a lot of the lads have seen over the last few games.

“It’s what you want to do, and it is why you want to play football,” he added. “You don’t want to be camped in and defending. There is going to be stages when you have to do that and grind out results, but he wants to be on the opposite side and putting teams under pressure.”

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