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Two regular Ireland internationals may be playing in League One next season

Rotherham’s victory ensured their survival at the expense of Millwall and Wigan last night.

It's been a disappointing season for Ireland goalkeeper David Forde.
It's been a disappointing season for Ireland goalkeeper David Forde.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Updated at 12.52

WIGAN AND MILLWALL were relegated from the Championship last night after Rotherham’s 2-1 victory over Reading ensured the club’s safety at the expense of their rivals.

Two goals in 10 second-half minutes from Matt Derbyshire and Lee Frecklington sealed the hosts’ victory, with Oliver Norwood’s 87th minute strike only proving to be a consolation.

Two Irish internationals, James McClean and David Forde, may have to settle for playing in League One next year, provided they don’t move clubs in the summer, as a result of this development.

Moreover, Forde is not the only Millwall-based Irish footballer to endure disappointment due to last night’s outcome, with ex-U21 international Aiden O’Brien and 32-year-old Dublin-born full-back Alan Dunne also preparing themselves for the prospect of League One football next season, as is ex-Drogheda United player Shaun Williams.

In addition to McClean at Wigan, Dubliner Chris McCann is another player who will be unhappy at last night’s result, while Rob Kiernan — a former Ireland U21 defender currently on loan at Birmingham — will also be affected.

The outcome is a blow for the former Derry City winger, in particular, who impressed after coming on during Ireland’s recent Euro 2016 qualifier with Poland and up until the season before last, had been playing Premier League football with Sunderland.

Meanwhile, Forde’s chances of regaining the number one goalkeeper jersey at international level, after he was dropped in favour of Shay Given for the Poland game, are unlikely to be helped by this latest scenario.

On a more positive note from an Irish perspective, former UCD and Derry City striker Conor Sammon will have been pleased with Rotherham’s victory — the 28-year-old spent part of the season on loan at the Millers from Derby, with his goals ultimately helping to keep the team in the Championship, while former Ireland B international Frecklington and Paul Green also played a part in the success.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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