Belfast Telegraph

Stoke City's Marc Wilson is not afraid of a backlash

By Robert Jones

Marc Wilson will take on Northern Ireland without any fear of being targeted.

The Stoke City defender was born in Aghagallon in County Armagh and represented Northern Ireland at Under-15 and 17 level before opting to play for the Republic.

The Irish Football Association now face the added challenge of convincing players they have a future with Northern Ireland rather than with the Republic but Wilson is not expecting any rough treatment at the Aviva Stadium.

"That's part and parcel of football, isn't it?" said the 27-year-old.

"You get tackles and you've just got to take them and get on with it. Then hopefully when you get the chance, put your foot in and do the same."

Wilson is keen to treat this neighbourly dispute as a valuable run out before the friendly against England and Euro 2016 qualifier with Scotland.

He added: "I'd like to be involved in all the games if I could.

"As a football player that's what you want. You want to play in every single game and I'm no different.

"It's a match. Definitely, it's a match. All the games we have got now are important games.

"There's big rivalry between all the teams - Northern Ireland, even England - and they'll be tough games.

"They are games we want to do well in."

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