Hull City star Stephen Quinn eager for Irish chance

Stephen Quinn is keen to play more for Ireland.Stephen Quinn is keen to play more for Ireland.
Stephen Quinn is keen to play more for Ireland.
Stephen Quinn is ready to answer his country’s call as the Republic of Ireland attempt to get their Euro 2016 qualification campaign back on track against Poland.

The Republic face the Group D leaders in Dublin on Sunday evening determined to bounce back from their 1-0 defeat in Scotland in November and re-engage in the race for one of the two automatic spots.

Quinn started the 1-1 draw with Germany in October and was used as a substitute at Celtic Park and while he has played a frustratingly peripheral role at club Hull in recent weeks, he would have no qualms about stepping into the fray once again if manager Martin O’Neill gave him the nod.

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The 28-year-old said: “You go through stages as a professional footballer where you are in, you are out. It’s just how you deal with it mentally.

“But I’m feeling good and I feel like I’m in good form. I’m obviously not playing as much as I’d like to at Hull, but you have just got to stay on it.

“I have been playing minutes here and there and getting some minutes under my belt, but I am feeling confident and I am ready and waiting so if the manager needs me, I’ll be there.”

Quinn has featured in just five of the Tigers’ last eight games, appearing as a substitute in all of them and managing only 52 minutes in total since his last start in the 3-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at West Ham on January 18.

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However, he is confident he would be right physically and mentally for the task of taking on the Poles having had to work hard throughout his career to get to where he has.

He said: “It’s a long road, to be honest. It took a long while for me to get my first game and first cap for Ireland, which was at 27, maybe.

“You have got to just ride the highs and lows. You can never get too high and never get too low. It’s the old cliche, but that’s a fact. It’s how you deal with the knock-backs and the setbacks.

“Then when you are away from your family, it’s really difficult. People think it’s a pure glamorous lifestyle - you do obviously reap the benefits of it, but it’s just how you deal with the lows, the knock-backs, the injuries.

“You have got to stay strong mentally. It’s a long road, but if you stick at it, you could get your rewards.”