Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
INPHO/Ryan Byrne Damien Delaney
# Euro 2016
Pardew hints that Damien Delaney will end his international exile ahead of the Euros
The Palace boss says Delaney should ‘do the right thing’.

CRYSTAL PALACE MANAGER Alan Pardew has given a strong indication that Damien Delaney could be set to make himself available for selection to Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill again, just four months before the European Championships.

Having played just 65 minutes of football during O’Neill’s reign, Delaney — capped nine times by his country — announced his retirement from international football back in August.

“The rigours of Premier League football and the 24/7 dedication required takes its toll so I look on the international break as a chance to recover,” Delaney said.

The 34-year-old Corkman has been a regular at the heart of the Crystal Palace defence, playing in 20 of the club’s 26 Premier League games so far this season. Palace are currently in 13th place in the table.

In spite of Delaney’s previous assurances in relation to his status as an international football, Palace manager Alan Pardew has intimated today that we may not have seen the last of the former Cork City defender in an Irish jersey.

“I think he would,” said Pardew, when asked if Delaney would be willing to return to the international fold — in an interview with Paul Rowan for The Sunday Times. “I think he is big enough and bold enough to swallow his pride and do the right thing.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Scott Dann, Delaney’s defensive partner at Selhurst Park: “I’m sure deep down he would want to play at the Euros. He’s playing week in, week out, in the Premier League and he is playing well. He’s good enough to play for Ireland, he’s shown that. If he was asked the question, I know what the answer would be.”

The Republic of Ireland’s preparations for Euro 2016 — which starts for the Boys in Green against Sweden at the Stade de France on 13 June — will begin in earnest next month with friendlies against Switzerland (25 March) and Slovakia (29 March) at the Aviva Stadium.

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