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O'Dea happy to play his part

Darren O'Dea is ready to step into Richard Dunne's boots on Saturday, but does not expect to be doing so when the Euro 2012 finals come around.

The 25-year-old Celtic defender, who spent last season in the npower Championship on loan at Leeds, has 13 senior caps to his name and perhaps most notably, was part of the rearguard which somehow managed to lay the foundation for a 0-0 qualifier draw in Russia last September.

He is also currently something of a rarity at Ireland's Malahide training base, a fit centre-half.

Giovanni Trapattoni added Paul McShane to his 23-man squad on Wednesday after seeing Sean St Ledger join Richard Dunne and John O'Shea on the casualty list, and with all three doubtful for Saturday's friendly against Bosnia, O'Dea seems certain to start.

However, while he will use the opportunity to once again show Trapattoni what he can do, he is convinced he will not find himself in the same position on June 10 when Ireland open their campaign against Croatia in Poznan.

O'Dea said: "If I go in on Saturday and Dunney is not quite fit, I think Dunney has probably earned his place in the Euros no matter how well I do.

"If I go in, it will be a chance to impress and enhance my reputation with the manager, but certainly think if Dunney is fit, he will play. I will be ready either way. I hope everyone is fit because that will give us the best possible chance.

"But if I get in, that will be a massive occasion for me and something I would really look forward to and thrive on. But I hope everyone is fit."


From Belfast Telegraph