Delap determined to make Eire squad
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Southampton midfielder has missed out on the chance to impress manager Mick McCarthy in the last two friendlies, but is ready to prove his worth when they take on United States in Dublin on Wednesday.
Delap said: "I've had a couple of injuries and suspensions and missed a few Irish squads but playing back in the centre of midfield has helped me.
"I will be absolutely gutted if I miss out on the World Cup finals. I still have probably three or four more major championships before my career finishes, but I am desperate to go to this one."
The former Derby man, a record Southampton signing when he moved from Pride Park in a £4 million deal, knows he has to work hard to impress McCarthy.
Delap added: "I can only do my best in the games that are left. Mick McCarthy seems to have about 16 places already decided which leaves seven up for grabs and I want one of them, so if I get my chance, I'll hopefully take it."
Although essentially a midfielder, Delap`s versatility could be a major asset in Japan and Korea, and he is prepared to do anything for the good of the team.
He added: "I will play anywhere - although I've proved right back is possibly stretching it. I prefer people to play behind me because I like to get forward. I have played up front, wide right, right back and centre midfield. I probably need to nail down one position, but I am happy being able to fill in.
"It could work against me because the manager doesn't know where to play me but then again he knows I can play in just about any position.
"I think wing back might be my best position but I have certainly enjoyed playing in the middle and thrived on the responsibility."
Delap had nothing but praise for his club boss, adding: "Gordon Strachan has really helped me to go out and relish playing again.
"He came in and from day one, told us what he expected and set the standards. He has just made some little, subtle changes which have really worked for all of us at Southampton.
"I have been lucky throughout my career to have very good man-managers who seem to know how to get the best out of me and Gordon Strachan is the same.
"I know where I stand with him and I know what he says is what he believes. Thankfully I've never had to worry about my managers saying different things behind my back."