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McClean On Keane & Arter Row: “We’re All Grown Men, Just Get On With It”

Irish midfielder James McClean has had his say on the row that occurred between Harry Arter, Roy Keane and Jon Walters in the camp over the summer.

McClean, who is in the Irish squad for their upcoming UEFA Nations League games against both Denmark and Wales, was asked by the media about the atmosphere in the squad following the return of Arter to the setup.

“I’m pleased to see him back,” began McClean.

“He’s a good lad and a good player, and we’ll take all the good players we can get at the minute. He’s here to play for his country. As long as he’s here, he’s got my full backing.”

The Stoke City man was also keen to play down the incident as a whole, firstly joking “Two men having a row. That’s unheard of…”

He then outlined that he felt the media had made too much of the whole incident between the pair which had lead to Arter feeling as though he needed to take time away from the international setup.

“Yeah, they (the media) always do. So what? Someone had a go at someone, we’re all grown men at the end of the day. You just get on with it. The morale in the squad is good. It’s always been good.”

McClean then outlined that as a teammate he supported Harry Arter, but that he did not agree with his decision to step away from the Irish setup.

“I’d tell Harry myself that I don’t agree with that. You’d have to put a gun to my head for me to not show up and play for Ireland.

But obviously everyone is different, and he’s here now. He’s a teammate. He’s here to play for Ireland. He’s got my backing 100 per cent.”

Ireland face two tough games in the space of a week at home against Denmark on Saturday and Wales on Tuesday, two sides who have already dished out hammering to O’Neill’s men in the space of the year.

O'Neill and Ireland squad

McClean however, played down the idea that both games are “grudge” matches after the previous defeats.

“It doesn’t matter who we play,” began McClean.

“There are points here at stake and we want to win both games. We’re at home as well, which gives us a slight advantage. But we’re up against two good sides. Two sides who in the last two games gave us a pasting. So, we’ve got something to prove, especially to ourselves.

“Nothing is going to right the wrongs of that night (against Denmark), especially given what was at stake. It was a night that cut very deep, it was very painful, they went on to the World Cup at our expense.

“No matter the result on Saturday, it won’t right the wrongs of that night. That’s gone. We have to let that go.”

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Author: Oisin McQueirns

Oisin McQueirns is a digital journalist at Pundit Arena. Massive fan of Leeds United, Ric Flair and Trusting The Process. Contact him here [email protected]