Stephen Ireland has again insisted that Giovanni Trapattoni must make the call before he will even consider an international return.

The controversial Corkman has been in flying form of late with Aston Villa, prompting speculation that he could return to international football in time for the Euro 2012 finals.

But the player, last capped in 2007 before the infamous Grannygate incident, insists Trapattoni must ring him and invite him back.

“I’m taking one step at a time and I’ll happily just play club football,” said Ireland. “I’ve been out of it for so long that I’m not going to miss playing for Ireland. I’m not sure what’s round the corner.

“Euro 2012 is not on my mind because I have not been approached in such a long time, maybe two years. If something comes to me, then I’ll see but other than that, I will just get on with my football here.”


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Ireland believes he is back to his old form after new Villa manager Alex McLeish showed faith in him.
He said: “I feel I’m ready to show my best form now. I’m getting fitter and you get that with a consistent run. In the majority of games, I would be feeling like I was coming off no matter how well I was doing.

“I guess that was because I haven’t been given the trust. Probably since I first got here, I haven’t been given that trust - but I have now thanks to the gaffer.

“I’m in a good place. I’m working as hard as I can, I’m improving game by game and the more confidence I get, the better.

“It’s a question as well of getting on the same wavelength as some of the other players. At Manchester City, I could play passes because I knew where everyone else was but at the moment I need to get on the same wavelength as the others.

“I feel like I’m going in the right direction and the more football I get, it will improve.”