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Thursday 22 June 2017

Callum keen to move up

Callum O'Dowda. Pic: Sportsfile
Callum O'Dowda. Pic: Sportsfile

Callum O'Dowda is targeting a place in the starting XI with Ireland after an impressive cameo off the bench this week.

The Bristol City player won only his fourth senior cap in Tuesday's defeat to Iceland, his club-mate Hordur Magnusson with the only goal of the game but O'Dowda and Daryl Horgan were possibly the only Irish players to emerge with any real credit from the defeat.

"Step by step I want to be aiming towards that start, that's what I want, to help the team out as much as possible so we can qualify. That's it for me," says the 21-year-old.

"I don't think I am that far away, James McClean has been brilliant, absolutely brilliant in the last couple of years, he has really stepped up to it, I am working with him in training and he's a great person to have ahead of you, watching him train and in games, learning from him, so I don't feel too far away but that's the standard. It's good when you have someone like that ahead of you.

"There is big competition in the squad, we have some great players but I don't want to just be in the squad easily, I want to work for it," added the midfielder.

"For me, to sustain it at this level I need to be positive when I get on the ball, make things happen. When people say my name I want them to think 'oh yeah, he did well tonight, he helped the team', I want them to be saying 'he scored that goal'.

"It was disappointing to lose the home record, we wanted to go out and win, that was the vibe in the dressing room and everyone was annoyed that we lost. I got on in the game, which was good for me, but more importantly than that I wanted to make an impact."

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