Irish defender Paul McShane may be coming towards the latter stages of his career but the 33-year-old isn’t letting hopes of a return to the international fold go.
McShane has won 33 caps for the Boys in Green over the course of his career but hasn’t represented his country since playing in a 2-2 draw against Slovakia in March of 2016.
The defender, who left Reading during the summer, recently made the move to Brian Barry-Murphy’s Rochdale in League One, making his first start in their win against Accrington Stanley at the weekend.
McShane struggled during his last season at Reading only making five starts throughout the Championship campaign, but speaking to RTE’s Game On, he outlined that he isn’t giving up hope of a return to the Irish setup.
“I do believe that (I can play for Ireland again) yeah,” said McShane.
“I’ve been in this game a long time now and football can change very quickly. It did seem a million miles away the last couple of years. I’m back to full fitness, so touch wood, I can stay as fit as possible and get as many games under my belt and see where it goes.
“I’ll always be available for my country and who knows what will happen in the future?”
McShane spent the majority of his career at Hull City, helping them to the Premier League on two occasions, however during his second spell in the top flight with the Tigers he failed to break into Martin O’Neill’s Irish side.
The former Manchester United man only featured twice for Ireland under O’Neill and explained he would frequently phone the manager when he wasn’t involved in a squad.
“I’d make the phone call when I wasn’t in [the squad]. I think players need to be like that. You have to ask the questions and managers must have the answers.”
With O’Neill gone, Ireland began well under new boss Mick McCarthy but have struggled over the last two games, drawing against Georgia and losing to Switzerland.
McShane outlined that he is optimistic that the Boys in Green can pull off the victory required against Denmark next month and conceded that although it isn’t always the prettiest style of football, Ireland are capable of getting the job done.
“I’m an optimist, so yeah. I’ll always believe that Ireland can pull out a result.
“There has been negativity around the team for quite some time to be honest. Sometimes it isn’t the prettiest of football, but the team has been looking at results-based performances. As long as we get results, I don’t think that will change much.
“I know the fans would like some good football played, but it is a results-driven business.
“The lads will just get on with it.”