thumbnail Hello,

The Derry native is on stand-by for the forthcoming friendly encounters and is hopeful that he can push on and earn a full call-up to the senior squad

Bournemouth midfielder Eunan O'Kane is hoping to stake his claim for a place in the Republic of Ireland squad after being placed "on stand-by" for the upcoming friendlies against Latvia and Poland.

The 23-year-old Derry native, who has previously been capped at under-21 level for the Boys in Green, admitted that it was "good" to be in the thoughts of the new managerial team of Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane.

"It was good to be put on stand-by and was better than not being involved at all," O'Kane told the Bournemouth Daily Echo. "I hope to get capped sometime in the future and it is nice to know I am in their thoughts.

"If I can keep putting in performances and playing well at this level, hopefully, my chance will come."

The former Coleraine and Torquay United midfielder believes that the appointment of O'Neill and Keane "will be great for the country as a whole" and paid particular attention to the influence of the new assistant manager.

"Once Martin O'Neill's name had been mentioned for the position, I don't think there was any surprise when he got the job," added O'Kane.

"I think the biggest shock was Roy Keane going with him because everyone had seen him as a possible candidate. I think it will be great for the country as a whole and Roy Keane's influence will raise everyone's spirits.

"There will be a feelgood factor in the country and I don't think anyone can question Martin O’Neill's credentials as a manager.

"Everywhere he has been, he has done well and, hopefully, he will be able to recreate that in international games."

Meanwhile, Keith Fahey's future remains shrouded in doubt as Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough admitted that the club was still assessing their options regarding the midfielder.

Former Birmingham City midfielder Fahey has been without a club since his release from the Blues in the summer and he has been training with the Blades in recent weeks.

"There is no doubting his quality, you can see it in training, he just need to get his fitness up. In terms of his ability on the ball, he is a very good player," Clough told Radio Sheffield.

"We have had a chat with him. There is no point in him being here if there wasn't something at the end of it. We will assess it over the next few weeks."