FROM COUNTY TO COUNTRY FOR KEOGH
DERBY County skipper Richard Keogh is aiming to lead the club back into the Premier League to boost his hopes of playing a part in the plans of new Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill.
Keogh has revealed that he has had talks with O’Neill as the former Aston Villa and Sunderland boss sets about shaping his squad for the start of qualifying for the European Championships.
Keogh, 27, has not figured for Ireland since winning his second cap against Georgia last June, when he scored in a 4-0 win.
But with Steve McClaren’s Derby side chasing promotion, he is banking on getting into O’Neill’s squad.
He said:“My form has been good this season. I’ve had a brief chat with Martin O’Neill and I’m excited about being back and geting actively involved.
“Derby are doing well and when you are near the top of the league it gives you a better opportunity to play in the international side.
“So long as I am playing well for Derby hopefully I can get back into the Ireland team.
“It is an exciting challenge for the club.We want to be involved in the top of the table battle.
“There are a lot of positives about the team. Currently we are unbeaten in five games so we are pushing in the right direction.
“We are a side which scores a lot of goals so we always give ourselves a real chance of winning matches.
“The new manager has come in at Derby and been really good with us on the training pitch.
“He has recruited some good players.We now have a group of young, hungry players who are willing to learn.”
UP AND AWAY: Derby’s Richard Keogh, centre, hopes his club form will earn him a recall to the Ireland squad