'I wasn't going to hang around and warm the bench' - Darren Randolph left West Ham for World Cup ambitions

Slaven Bilic confirmed to the Ireland goalkeeper that Joe Hart would be his new number one at West Ham next season.

Darren Randolph departed West Ham in search of first-team football.
Darren Randolph departed West Ham in search of first-team football.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

DARREN RANDOPLH SAYS the arrival of Joe Hart prompted his own departure from West Ham, with the Ireland goalkeeper admitting he needs regular football ahead of next summer’s World Cup in Russia.

The 30-year-old competed alongside Spanish goalkeeper Adrian at Upton Park last season, but received confirmation from Hammers boss Slaven Bilic that Joe Hart would hold down the position next season.

Randolph joined Middesbrough last week for £5 million and is set to be first-choice goalkeeper at the Riverside Stadium.

The goalkeeper said next summer’s World Cup in Russia played a significant role in his departure from West Ham.

“I wasn’t going to hang around and warm the bench,” Randolph said speaking to BBC Tees.

West Ham United v Swansea City - Premier League - London Stadium Randolph made 22 starts for West Ham last season. Source: John Walton

“It’s a World Cup year, the Republic of Ireland have a good position in the group and if I have any kind of dreams to play in the World Cup then I need to be playing games.”

The goalkeeper wants to be picked as manager Martin O’Neill’s number one, were Ireland to qualify, and had no reservations about dropping down to the Championship if it meant playing 90 minutes each week.

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“It wouldn’t have happened so often if I stayed at West Ham as it was made clear, so I wasn’t going to just sit on the bench and take up a place and possibly miss out on a chance to play at a World Cup,” he said.

“I had to do what was best for me and that happens in football, so I had to leave.”

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