Caleb Folan is ready to fight for a place in the Republic of Ireland team.

 The striking powerhouse has two international caps to his name after coming on as a late substitute in the 1-0 win over Cyprus and playing the full 90 minutes in the friendly defeat to Poland.

After impressing for the Ireland B team in a match against Nottingham Forest, he was called up to the senior squad by Giovanni Trapattoni and he now wants to stay there so he can fight for a starting spot.

Folan is working his way back to full fitness following minor surgery in December and opted to withdraw from the squad to face Georgia, so that he would be in a better position to be involved against Bulgaria.

"I've really enjoyed linking up with the Irish squad and it was brilliant that Giovanni (Trapattoni) gave me a run out in the last game," said Folan.

"I thought that I did well in that game (against Poland) even though I wasn't fully fit. Robbie (Keane) wasn't there, so I was given an opportunity up front along with Kevin Doyle.

"Robbie and Kevin are probably going to be the first-choice partnership, but I'm a little bit different to them and that gives the manager something to think about. I need to keep working hard in training and playing well when I do get a chance.

"I feel that I'm not just a target man. I have some pace, can hold up the ball, play people in, and score all kinds of goals. Maybe that is why the manager called me up in the first place, but I want to show what I'm capable of out on the pitch."

The Hull City front man is hoping that he can force his way into Trapattoni's plans and thinks the fact that he offers something different to the other Irish strikers can play to his advantage.

Having only made ten Premier League appearances so far this term, Folan is determined to feature more for club and country in this crucial stage of the season.

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