INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Keith Andrews hopeful Stephen Kelly will work way back into Trap's plans

The Bolton midfielder was put on the spot after the Champions League action tonight.

IRELAND MIDFIELDER Keith Andrews tonight admitted it would have been preferable for any disagreement between Giovanni Trapattoni and Stephen Kelly to remain private.

The Reading defender is currently exiled from the Irish set-up in the wake of a very public falling-out last month.

The row came to a head in the aftermath of Ireland’s 2-0 win against Poland when Trapattoni was asked if Kelly would be considered for next month’s qualifiers against Sweden and Austria. The Italian questioned Kelly’s international commitment and claimed that the Reading man did not want to be involved with the national team unless he was guaranteed to play. That prompted the Dubliner to issue a now infamous statement.

“Well, obviously Stephen was left out of the friendly last month against Poland,” Andrews told Tommy Martin on TV3 tonight.

“The manager and himself have had their differences. This is a sticky one for me because Stephen is a good friend of mine but I have loyalty for the manager obviously.”

He continued: “You would have hoped it would have stayed private. [B]ut it’s not as if there was a row on the training ground or anything that dramatic and hopefully we can see him back pretty soon.”

This week, former Ireland international and Kelly’s Reading colleague, Ian Harte, told Daniel McDonnell: “I’ve seen Stephen Kelly’s phone, pretty much every one of the Reading lads have seen it, and we’re thinking: ‘What’s going on’? If the press were to see the full text, that would be the end of Trap.”

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