Everton midfielder Darron Gibson has turned down Giovanni Trapattoni's Republic of Ireland call-up after Hull City's David Meyler was forced to withdraw through injury.
Meyler has returned to Hull with a knee injury, but Gibson has declined an offer from the Ireland manager to replace him in the squad for Wednesday's international with Poland. Ireland assistant manager Marco Tardelli confirmed that Gibson ruled himself out of the midweek friendly. "This morning Meyler told us that he had to go back home and we spoke with Darron," Tardelli told reporters at the side's training camp in Malahide.
“He told us that he had played just one match, and that he preferred to stay at home, and that he wasn’t available because he had a little problem after the match.”
Gibson also refused to link up with the Ireland squad after he was overlooked at the European Championships last summer, but Tardelli feels that the 19-time Ireland international could accept a call-up for March's World Cup qualifiers with Sweden and Austria. "I think Darron wants to come here so maybe yes," Tardelli answered when asked would Gibson return.
"Yes, I think so but it depends if he is well or not. Why not? When we want to pick a player and he is available then we are very happy. I don’t understand where the problem is. This he said that ‘I have a little problem, that I’m not 100 per cent fit’, but I don’t think it’s a problem for him to come for another match."
Shane Long and Ciaran Clark also sat out the morning session, but both are expected to return to training on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Gibson's Everton team mate Shane Duffy is hopeful that the midfielder will make a return to the Ireland squad sooner rather than later.
"He is probably one of our best players at the minute and hopefully we can get him back playing for Ireland," Duffy told the Irish Examiner. "I haven't spoken to him about the Irish situation because it's his matter. I don't know what's happening or why he hasn't come back. I'm not sure.
"Perhaps it's just injuries but I don't know why he's not in the Irish squad. He played a match on Saturday against Aston Villa and came off near the end."