'England camp is like a prison,' suggests Ireland's Keith Andrews

Released West Brom midfielder says that the difference between the Boys in Green and Three Lions is the greater sense of camaraderie among the Irish players
Republic of Ireland midfielder Keith Andrews has suggested that the England camp pales in comparison to the Ireland's when it comes to patriotism and team spirit.

Writing in his column for the Irish Examiner, Andrews implied that the England camp was run with a much stricter approach than Giovanni Trapattoni's regime.

"We love getting together and we genuinely enjoy each other’s company," said Andrews.

"The manager has recognised the kind of personalities we are, and also the character of the country: we do like a laugh and a joke but when business is business, we crack down."

He continued: "He lets us have our freedom to a certain degree whereas, at times, the England camp seems to have been run more like a prison camp.

"And in this age, you can’t treat grown men like that; you have to give them a certain amount of trust," said the Dubliner.

Andrews also spoke of the importance of having a sense of team spirit during a major tournament and suggested that it was lacking in the England camp.

He said: "A big source of confidence for me is the spirit and sense of togetherness in [the Ireland] squad. It’s not always just about the ability in the player. You need characters too.

"Realistically, not all of the 23 are going to play in the tournament, so you need people around the place who are going to be good-humoured and help break the mood up a little bit.

"Speak to anyone within the game in England and you get the sense that there are some English players who just don’t relish playing for their country.

"There doesn’t seem to be the same sense of patriotism that we have when we meet up," concluded the 31-year old.

Andrews played under new England coach Roy Hodgson and has been a mainstay in the Irish midfield under Giovanni Trapattoni, notching three goals in 28 appearances for his country.

Meanwhile, former Ireland international Ray Houghton has urged Celtic to sign Andrews, who is a free agent following his release by West Brom at the end of his short-term contract.

He told the Daily Record: “This boy can play and I would be absolutely delighted if Celtic signed him as it would be a real coup for the club.”