Norwich City midfielder Wes Hoolahan should not consider quitting the Republic of Ireland set-up
- Credit: PA
Norwich City midfielder Wes Hoolahan should put any international retirement plans on hold, urged Republic of Ireland chief Martin O'Neill.
The 33-year-old hinted during recent friendlies against Switzerland and Slovakia that this summer's Euro 2016 finals could well be his international swansong.
O'Neill has yet to confirm his own future beyond the tournament but the Irish boss is convinced Hoolahan still has plenty to offer.
'There'd be no call from me to end his international career. If he is considering it, I think he should consider it on the positive side,' said O'Neill. 'In fairness, Wes is kind of young because he hasn't exactly played an awful lot of games. He has a young face, he'd pass for 18 or 19 or 20. If it comes around to it and that's what he's feeling then, yeah, absolutely but I would say to him there's no reason for him to consider that at this minute.
'I think what happens is maybe after the tournament is over, people start to consider a lot of things. It depends where he is at club level. Those things are very important. At this stage he'd want to be playing more often. There's a selfishness of course, in that he might be of benefit to us if he stays fresh and things like this but I think Wes would want to play all the time if he could.'
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Hoolahan, speaking prior to earning his 36th cap in a midweek 2-2 Dublin friendly against Slovakia, reiterated Norwich's Premier League relegation fight was his priority.
'I haven't thought about the Euros too much because of the situation we are in at Norwich,' he said. 'We have seven massive games to make ourselves safe, and I'm concentrating on that. If I can help us stay up, then I can look forward to the Euros, if I'm picked – and I'm not just saying that. I don't take anything for granted.
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'I will be 34 by the time the Euros are played, which means when the next World Cup comes around I am going to be 36. I will see how the summer goes and probably make a decision then.'