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Sunday 25 September 2016

Anxiety is Quinn's lot as fringe players await boss Martin's final squad call

Ireland midfielder Stephen Quinn: SPORTSFILE
Ireland midfielder Stephen Quinn: SPORTSFILE

Stephen Quinn has more than played his part in Ireland's feat of reaching the Euro 2016 finals.

But the midfielder knows that past service, and past history, will count for little when Martin O'Neill finally makes up his mind on the makeup of the 23-man squad which will travel to France, and Quinn says he already has a knot in his stomach at the thought of missing out,

Being left out of the squad is not an abstract idea for Quinn, as he's well aware of how hard that cut is because his close friend and club-mate Paul McShane was last week given the news by O'Neill that his services are not required for now.

"I've got that feeling in my stomach where it could be me," says Quinn of the prospect of not being in the final 23, with also sympathy for those who miss out.

"Then if I do stay it'd be great, but I'd have that sympathy for them, it's upsetting but that's the way the manager wants to do it and you just have to get on with it.

"I spoke to Maccer (McShane), the manager went to meet him, which was nice as he didn't have to do that. He's gutted at not making it and I'm gutted for him, to be honest, as he's worked so hard and had a terrific season with Reading, he got a few of our player of the year awards, he's our captain but it's the manager's job to narrow it down and you have to accept his decisions.

"You can't rest on your laurels and what you've done throughout the campaign. It's gone now, it's the here and the now. There are quality players around. I wouldn't say I've a better chance because of that. I enjoyed my games during the campaign. That's what I was looking forward, playing in the qualifiers to get to the Euros, I played my part. I played in a few games. I would be nice to go France after helping the lads," says Quinn.

One of the few Royals players heading to France (along with Northern Ireland's Ollie Norwood and Welshman Chris Gunter), he sees the same team spirit which helped the three nations qualify while the likes of Holland and Scotland miss out.

"Their camaraderie is unbelievable. It can get you so far, it can nearly get you qualified really when you have that tightness in a group. Obviously those other teams (Holland) don't have it, so you need that cohesion."

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