Saturday 20 January 2018

Darren Randolph hopes West Ham form may open door for Ireland

Darren Randolph
Darren Randolph

He's already had an unexpected dose of exposure to the Premier League and now Darren Randolph hopes that the door to the international side can open up over the next week.

While Shay Given is likely to start in Friday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Gibraltar, there's a sense that the position is up for grabs: with Keiren Westwood out injured, the other players who have had a spell of late as Ireland's No. 1 (Given and David Forde) have not been getting first team football.

So with successive Premier League starts under his belt at West Ham, as stand-in for the suspended Adrian, Randolph is in a position to at least stake a claim and make his competitive international debut.

"I think there's always opportunities for everyone. That's how you have to look at it," says the Wicklow native, aware of the competition from Given and Forde.

"But no matter who has gone in, they've done the job and we work closely together when we've come away and no matter who is in there they get our full backing.

"I've still only played two games [for West Ham]. Thankfully it's not my decision, it's the manager's."

A summer signing from Birmingham, Randolph got some Europa League games in before those recent Premier appearances, against Bournemouth and Liverpool. "I wouldn't have expected a chance so early, but I'm enjoying playing," and it was good to get a clean sheet the other day," he smiled.

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