Tuesday 26 March 2019

Walters: 'I'll be here for as long as I'm wanted'

LONG HAUL: Ireland’s Jonathan Walters
LONG HAUL: Ireland’s Jonathan Walters

By turning up for the post-season friendlies against France and the USA, Jon Walters has committed to the Irish football team for as long as the Boys in Green are alive in Euro 2020.

"Or for as long as the manager wants me," he playfully announces, but if the Burnley attacker wanted to end his time in a green shirt the last month or two was the time to do it.

But before Walters can contemplate the Euro qualifiers next year and what part Martin O'Neill might have for him in those matches, he must sort out his future with Burnley.

An injury kept him out of the action for most of the first half of the season and then, when he got fit again, Sean Dyche's side were on a roll that took them to the Europa League and he could not force his way back in to the first team.

"You can't blame the manager as he took the club on a run to the Europa League, things were going well, why make a change?

"But at 32 I need to be playing regularly," admits Walters.

"We're due back in four weeks for pre-season, I've been told to turn up and I'll see if anything happens before that."

With Ireland it has been about new faces too over the last fortnight.

"Lads have come in and put their names in front of the boss for places and that's it, that's the way we all got started.

"It was great for John O'Shea to have that night and he almost got a goal too and who would begrudge Judgey (Alan Judge) that goal - he's had a shocking run of it with injuries."

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