Sunday 18 August 2019

'Disappointed' Fahey sends a message with goal on return

KEITH Fahey admits that he felt let down by his exclusion from the original Ireland squad -- and then the starting line-up -- for last night's clash with Wales, writes AIDAN FITZMAURICE.

But the Birmingham City man showed just what he has to offer Giovanni Trapattoni by netting a tasty free kick for his second goal in just eight games.

Averaging a goal every four matches for Ireland is a record that any midfielder -- and most strikers -- would be happy with, and Fahey's strike eight minutes from time not only put some more gloss on an Irish win but also gave food for thought to Trapattoni, who caused confusion when he named the Birmingham player in his provisional 29-man panel, then left him out of the reduced 22-man squad, before he finally promoted him from the stand-by list.

"It was a disappointment to be left out at first," Fahey told the Herald. "I was told that I was left out because I'd had a game with the club only last Sunday. I was disappointed, I am eager to play as much as I can.


"It's hard to take when you're left out by the club as my form with Birmingham had been decent, I felt. It's tough to take but you have to swallow it and get on with it.

"It was nice just to get a run, and scoring made it even better for me.

"But I was glad that Darron (Gibson) had gone off when it came to the free kick for my goal, he probably wouldn't have let me take it," said Fahey, who said Ireland did up a gear once Gibson broke the deadlock.

"We were decent in the first half, looked dangerous and created a few chances but once we scored the first goal, Wales crumbled a bit," he added.

Just where Fahey can be accommodated in the Irish side is one of the conundrums facing Trapattoni as he now fixes his thoughts on Macedonia's visit in March.

He has twice started on the right side of the midfield (against Argentina and Slovakia) and once in a central role (against Norway), but getting a game on the wing for Ireland is not easy: Trap started with Damien Duff and Seamus Coleman last night but, by the time Macedonia come to town, he could have that pair to pick from again, along with Aiden McGeady, Stephen Hunt, Liam Lawrence and Keith Treacy, not to mention Fahey.

And the former St Pat's man reckons that he's better off with a wide berth.

"I can play on the left or right side and I am more comfortable there," said Fahey. "But it's the manager's call, I just want to be involved in the next game and in every game after that. I am just eager to play as much as I can for Ireland."

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