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O'Shea hopes lack of game time won't ruin Euro 2016 chances

Ireland's John O'Shea

O'Shea was limited to a role on the bench for much of Sunderland's successful survival bid, but he insists he is ready to shine for Ireland.

Sunderland's John O'Shea speaks with manager Sam AllardyceSunderland's John O'Shea speaks with manager Sam Allardyce

Republic of Ireland centre-back John O'Shea has told the Irish Examiner that he hopes his recent lack of game time for Sunderland will not put a dent in his hopes for Euro 2016.

While a veteran of the current Irish set up, reports suggest he may have to compete with Ciaran Clark and Richard Keogh for a place in the starting line up this summer.

Ireland's John O'Shea reacts to a decision by referee Cuneyt CakirIreland's John O'Shea reacts to a decision by referee Cuneyt Cakir

The 35-year-old has been short of game time for his club, falling out of favour after Younes Kaboul and Lamine Kone formed an impressive defensive partnership during Sunderland's successful bid for Premier League survival.

But despite his time on the bench, O'Shea is expected to be a key part of boss Martin O'Neil's plans in France, and he insists he is ready to play an important role for his team, who will look to improve on their disappointing group stage exit in 2012.

Republic of Ireland's John O'Shea and Glenn Whelan looks dejected after Slovakia's second goalRepublic of Ireland's John O'Shea and Glenn Whelan looks dejected after Slovakia's second goal

He said: “Obviously, when you are not in the team, you are doing extra work to stay on top of things.

“But look, I have played plenty of games throughout my career for club and country, (enough) to know that I’ll be ready if needed and when called upon.”

Ireland's John O'SheaIreland's John O'Shea

The pain of Ireland's last appearance at a European Championship will undoubtedly be on the minds of O'Neil's men, but O'Shea claims there is still a feel-good factor within the camp.

He added: “It’s a major tournament, these are very exciting times and everyone wants to be a part of it.

“The momentum is definitely building.”

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