Republic of Ireland midfielder Paul Green says that he doesn't pay any attention to what the fans think of him.
The Leeds United player has been much maligned by supporters of the Boys in Green, with some wondering how he has become such a go-to man in manager Giovanni Trapattoni's plans. The former Derby man made a substitute appearance against Spain at Euro 2012, coming in ahead of Darron Gibson, despite the fact that he had not been named in the original squad for the tournament.
Everton's Gibson has not made himself available for selection since the Euros. Green also appeared as a sub against Poland in a friendly last month, again, after only receiving a call-up when Hull City’s David Meyler suffered a knee injury during a club game.
"The fans are allowed their opinions," he said. "You've got to be thick-skinned in this game. You might take some criticism but there are other days when you might get some praise, so you've got to take it both ways really. I don't really take much note of it. I take it on the chin either way.
"I seem to be playing regularly for my club now and I'm getting called up now, so they must think something about me if I'm being called up. Everybody's allowed their opinion and, like I say, it's up to them what they think," he added.
Bolton's Keith Andrews and Birmingham's Keith Fahey are not in the squad, while Glenn Whelan of Stoke is nursing a knee injury, although he is expected to be fit for Friday night's World Cup qualifier against Sweden. It had appeared that Wigan's James McCarthy was ensconced in Trapattoni’s first XI but Green, helped by a generally well received run-out against Poland, has put himself firmly the frame for a start and in training on Tuesday, lined up alongside Whelan in a practice game.
"Obviously, James McCarthy and Glenn Whelan look to be the two that are going to start but there's a nice little back-up there. Jeff Hendrick, who I know from Derby, is a good young player. If anyone does go down with an injury, there's some back-up there," the 29-year-old told reporters on Monday.
Spartak Moscow’s Aiden McGeady pulled out of the squad with a knee injury and Green says the former Celtic man will be missed for the double-header but is confident the younger wingers can also make an impression.
"He's a massive player for us. His feet are ridiculous and he gets down that wing and sets up some chances for the strikers. He'll be a massive miss. Then again, James McClean will do just as good a job. He gets his crosses in and likes to dribble at people, so there's obviously good back-up there as well.
"There seems to be no fear for the young lads in the squad. They come in and do a great job. Robbie Brady's playing every week with Hull and, obviously, James is in and out of the [Sunderland] team at the moment. I've been very impressed with them when I've seen them train and play," he added.