Kilbane banishes quit thoughts
Republic of Ireland defender Kevin Kilbane insists he is fully focused on the upcoming Euro 2012 campaign.
Last Updated: 01/09/10 5:23pm
Republic of Ireland defender Kevin Kilbane insists he is fully focused on the upcoming Euro 2012 campaign after admitting he considered quitting international football.
The 33-year-old Hull City player was part of the Ireland side that were on the receiving end of a heartbreaking World Cup play-off defeat to France earlier in the year - when a Thierry Henry handball denied them in a controversial tie.
Kilbane admits after that night in Paris he did consider his Ireland future, but is now more determined to see his country qualify for the European Championships in two years time.
He said: "The question was asked at the end of the last campaign about Robbie (Keane), Damien (Duff) and even John O'Shea, but they are key for us.
"I think they all still want to be a part of a team going to a tournament finals, and this is the chance.
"We have never had a massive pool of players, but we are very much a team together.
"It would be all too easy when you are not involved in every game to walk out and say, 'I have had enough'.
"No. I will sit around and see what happens. I love it, it's the pinnacle for me.
"I spoke to my family and they made it clearer for me and I took plenty of other advice.
"If anyone thought it was time for me to go, that wasn't said and it's nice to hear that people want me to stay around.
"I'm proud I'm in the squad again. I did consider quitting but at the end of the day, if you are picked, you are picked; if you are not, you are not."
The Republic face a tough opening fixture for the upcoming campaign as they travel to Armenia for a clash on Friday night.
Kilbane warns that it will not be an easy game, but believes it is time for Ireland to shine after not reaching a major tournament since 2002.
He added: "We haven't qualified (for a major tournament) in five or six years, and so the young lads have had no real no chance to shine.
"This is the time for lads like Kevin Doyle to shine. We need to qualify so they can have their chance on a big stage.
"The last campaign gave us real belief we can go on and qualify for these European Championships.
"It's going to be a hostile atmosphere there on Friday with Armenia having a really good support, and if we are not quite at it, we could get turned over.
"However, we are going there to win and if we played like we did in last campaign, we have a real chance of getting good start.
"Six points is something we can achieve from the Armenia and Andorra games over the next week."