Does Marc Wilson expect a bit of a kicking against Northern Ireland? 'No, not at all'

Ireland and Northern Ireland meet in a ‘training game’ at lunchtime.

Wilson is hoping to add to his 21 Irish caps this month.
Wilson is hoping to add to his 21 Irish caps this month.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

MARC WILSON ISN’T expecting any special attention in this afternoon’s closed-doors game against Northern Ireland.

The Armagh native’s decision to declare for the Republic still rankles with some north of the border.

Both Wilson and James McClean started out with Northern Ireland at underage level before switching allegiances to the Boys in Green.

But the defender doesn’t think he’ll face too many meaty challenges because of it when the sides meet in the Aviva Stadium.

“No, not at all,” Wilson said.

“That’s part and parcel of football, isn’t it? You get tackles and you’ve just got to take them and get on with it.

Hopefully when you get the chance to put your foot in, do the same.

The game is effectively a training exercise ahead of the friendly against England and the Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland, but Wilson is treating it as much more than a run-out.

“It’s a very competitive game. That’s the way I’m taking it and that’s the way the other guys will be taking it as well.”

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The international double-header comes at the tail end of a season in which Wilson played 30 games for Stoke City.

After re-charging the batteries with a short holiday, he’s ready to go again.

I feel fine at the minute. I just got myself back from Iceland where I did a lot of hiking and stuff, and just relaxed. I feel pretty good.

“I’d like to be involved in all the games if I could. I think as a football player that’s what you want and I’m no different.”

– First published 00.10

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Niall Kelly

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