'I'm sure he's thinking he's got a great chance of starting'

Roy Keane is confident Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter has the quality to succeed at international level.

Republic of Ireland's Harry Arter during the International Friendly at the Aviva Stadium.
Republic of Ireland's Harry Arter during the International Friendly at the Aviva Stadium.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

IRELAND ASSISTANT BOSS Roy Keane is confident Harry Arter can make the step up to international level if required away to Austria on Saturday.

The Bournemouth midfielder has impressed in the Premier League this season, featuring in all 11 of his side’s league games so far.

Yet despite earning three caps after making his debut in the friendly against England in June 2015, the London-born midfielder has yet to play competitively for Ireland.

But Keane believes the 26-year-old has the ability to succeed at international level and suggested he is contention to start in Vienna at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion with first-choice central midfielder James McCarthy out injured currently.

Harry’s had a frustrating time not from a club point of view, he’s playing really well, but at international level, he’s missed a few games with injuries,” Keane said.

“He’s fit, he seems to be in a good run of form. He’s playing week in week out in the Premier League and he certainly would be an option for us. I think he would chomping at the bit to be involved.

We know if he’s starting on Saturday, he certainly has the quality to deal with the game because he’s playing week in week out in the Premier League, it wouldn’t be a problem to him. We’ll see how that goes in the next few days. I’m sure he’s thinking he’s got a great chance of starting.”

Source: FAI TV/YouTube

Meanwhile, it was confirmed at today’s press conference that Ireland had until 17 November to respond after they were charged by Fifa for wearing an Easter Rising commemorative jersey during the friendly with Switzerland in March earlier this year.

When asked about the issue at today’s press conference, Keane responded: “I can’t comment until the charge is sorted out. But listen, as coaching staff and players, we’re focusing on the game. Let the FAI deal with that.”

Gavin Cooney
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A spokesperson for the FAI added that the organisation would not be making any further comment until after 17 November.

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