Belfast Telegraph

Stephen Quinn keen to start for Republic of Ireland against Poland

By Daniel McDonnell

It is less than 7km from Richmond Park, Inchicore to the Aviva Stadium, but in metaphorical terms, the home ground of St Patrick's Athletic is a world away from the environs now inhabited by proud Dubliner Stephen Quinn.

Just 10 years ago the Saints had Quinn on their books, but Sheffield United liked the cut of his jib and signed him to launch yet another member of the Quinn clan into English football.

Now the midfielder is a regular with Premier League side Hull and has played in the FA Cup final. Equally important, the graph of Quinn's international career has shown a significant rise under the stewardship of Martin O'Neill and he's loving the involvement.

He's played at senior level 12 times, but, significantly, Quinn has started four of the last five games played by the Republic.

However, Quinn was forced to play a long game of patience between his first call-up in 2007 and making his senior debut in 2013. Making up for lost time is a priority, but the big selection decisions are down to Martin O'Neill.

"You can never rest on your laurels, you have to come back and show the manager you're willing and able, that you are still working hard for a place," said Quinn. "No one is guaranteed a starting spot. The squad is stronger than ever with some great additions and the manager will have some headaches."

Team spirit, allied to a good structure, and imposing plenty of pressure on Poland will be necessities on Sunday.

Poland's star forward Robert Lewandowski is obviously a threat to the home defence, but Quinn highlighted the collective threat that the Poles will bring.

"It would be naive of us to single out just one player, even Lewandowski, so we've worked on them as a whole team," he said.

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