Pilkington finally joins up with Ireland after injury hell

03 September 2013 09:00

Anthony Pilkington has re-affirmed his commitment to the Republic of Ireland after finally joining up with the squad at the sixth time of asking.

The 25-year-old Norwich midfielder had previously been called up five times by manager Giovanni Trapattoni, but on each occasion, had been forced to withdraw through injury.

Trapattoni has at times during his reign hit out at players who have cried off after being selected, and doubts had been expressed in some quarters over Pilkington.

However, having trained for the first time with his international colleagues ahead of Friday's World Cup qualifier against Sweden, the former Huddersfield man insisted no-one was more frustrated than him at the catalogue of misfortune which kept him back in England.

He said: "It was five times in the end that I couldn't come over, so it was frustrating, very frustrating.

"The first time, I was ready to come over that night, so it was obviously very frustrating. But that's behind me now and hopefully I can crack on and do well.

"Obviously I can see why people started talking, but I would have been no good to anybody coming here and playing with a dodgy knee or playing with a torn hamstring.

"I wouldn't be helping anybody, I wouldn't be helping myself or the country, so people need to realise that I had the injuries.

"I was always committed. The first time I had to pull out, my bags were packed ready to come over.

"We had a morning game and we were due to fly out, me and Wes [Hoolahan], after the game and I got injured during the game.

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:44