Arter and Keane have moved on from row, says Republic boss O’Neill

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill is confident Harry Arter and assistant boss Roy Keane can both move on after the midfielder was recalled for the Nations League matches against Denmark and Wales.

Arter, on loan at Cardiff from Bournemouth, opted to miss the September fixtures against Wales and Poland in the wake of the fallout from a row with Keane during a summer training camp.

O’Neill confirmed there had been positive dialogue and everyone is now looking to put the incident behind them as they prepare for the double header at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

“Roy and Harry had conversations,” O’Neill said.

“Harry is happy to be in the squad and wants to put it behind him, and I think Roy does as well.”

O’Neill added at a press conference, quoted on www.rte.ie: “I think we have all learned something from it.

“I think there is a few people that he would like to prove wrong, and prove to himself for a start. The game is about trying to prove people wrong. The conversation they had was excellent.”

Richie Towell, the former Dundalk midfielder on loan at Rotherham from Brighton, has earned a first call-up, but West Ham youngster Declan Rice is not included in the 32-man provisional squad.

“We have a number of players who do not play regularly in their sides. Richie at least is playing a few games now with Rotherham and will have more confidence,” O’Neill said.

West Ham teenager Declan Rice. (PA)
West Ham teenager Declan Rice continues to weigh up his international options. (Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

Rice, who can operate either as a defender or in midfield, continues to consider his international options.

O’Neill still hopes the 19-year-old, who has three friendly caps so far, will opt to remain with Ireland.

“I’ve spoken to Declan and the family. They want a little bit more time to make his mind up,” he said. “He hasn’t made a decision yet. I am hopeful.”

Reports later emerged Rice was set to switch his allegiance to England, with suggestions plans were in place to lodge the relevant paperwork with world governing body FIFA.

Following his press conference, O’Neill told journalists he remained “hopeful” over Rice’s situation.

“Until I get the story I can’t really comment on it. All I can reiterate is what I’ve said in the room for the last hour. What I said to you was exactly how I felt about it,” he said.

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill. (PA)
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill hopes Declan Rice will continue to be available for his squad. (Steven Paston/PA Images)

“Nothing surprises me in this life, but I’d be a bit surprised at that particular story.”

Darragh Lenihan, Derrick Williams, Greg Cunningham, Alan Browne, Shane Long, Sean Maguire and Scott Hogan also all return after missing the September fixtures, which saw Ireland beaten 4-1 in Cardiff.

James McClean has recovered from a broken wrist, but captain Seamus Coleman remains unavailable along with forward Jonathan Walters, winger Robbie Brady and defender Stephen Ward.

Republic of Ireland captain Seamus Coleman. (PA)
Seamus Coleman is working his way back to full fitness. (Mike Egerton/PA Wire)

Everton full-back Coleman continues his recovery from a foot injury.

“He’s a big player for us, obviously – a truly world-class player. We cannot really afford to lose the player and this is a loss again, but we have to overcome it,” O’Neill said

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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