Stephen Hunt feels that the return of Stephen Ireland to the international fold could spell disaster for unity within the Ireland squad.

While admitting that Ireland has been the outstanding Irish player in the Premier League over the last 12 months, Reading winger Hunt says that his return would only serve to anger those that have worked hard to get the country to next year's World Cup Finals in South Africa.

"You might say it will help the camp but might hinder the camp too," said Hunt.

"If he comes back, he would be a good player to have and might get us that extra step to the World Cup.

"But if you tell someone who has been waiting for a chance that he is not going to the World Cup because he has come back in late doors, you might have a few players upset about it - especially at this stage of the campaign. That's fair enough, I think.

"I don't think he'll come back. We're probably better off forgetting about it until the campaign is finished. If Stephen Ireland did come back, then it would be a bonus for the team and everything else would have to work around it.

"But if was to come back now," added the 27-year-old, "it would come with extra media on the team at a time when it's vitally important we stay focused on qualifying for the World Cup. Stephen Ireland hasn't said much. It's more quotes coming from his dad. It's time to let it go."