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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 7 July, 2020

Finders keepers? There was more talk today about who will play in goal for Ireland

“It’s the manager’s decision and there’s nothing I can do,” says David Forde.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

DAVID FORDE WON’T press Martin O’Neill for a Polish vote of confidence this week.

The Milwall keeper has started all four of Ireland’s Euro 2016 qualifiers but faces another fight for the number one jersey.

O’Neill quietly reassured Forde that his place was safe a few days before the opening qualifier in Georgia.

But even though Shay Given, Keiren Westwood and Darren Randolph are all still in the 29-man squad, the Galway stopper won’t be looking for a similar guarantee before Sunday.

“It doesn’t really bother me,” Forde said after training in Malahide.

I’ll still prepare as if I’m playing and if I’m not, I’ll still prepare. You never know — first minute, you could be on.

“That’s the way you’ve got to be as a professional footballer, focused on the job ahead.

“I’m old enough and wise enough now to know what it takes to prepare for games at international level. I’ve got enough caps now that I do feel that I can handle the situation.”

Given was honest in admitting on Monday that he would love to add to his 127 caps against Poland — even though he hasn’t played a competitive international game since Euro 2012.

Forde is not worried about the healthy competition in the squad but agreed that he would feel a bit hard done by if he lost his place after a solid start to qualification.

“Obviously he’s entitled to do that,” he said.

“What he’s done for the country, I’ve got a lot of admiration for him. He’s been one of the best players.

It’s great that I’ve been in for the last couple of years and long may that continue.

Millwall’s dire form has left them mired in Championship relegation trouble but Forde said there is no reason for concern.

“I’ve been steady away. I’ve played some good games, but it’s the manager’s decision and there’s nothing I can do.

“I’ve been happy with what I’ve been doing club-wise, and it’s just unfortunate to be in the position that we’re in.

“It’s a different scenario when you come over and meet the international side. You just want to give it your best because that’s your country and at the end of the day, that’s what you’ve always dreamed of.”

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Niall Kelly

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