Martin O'Neill: 'Stephen Ireland must make decision on international future'

Stephen Ireland of Stoke City reacts after having a goal ruled out for offside during the Barclays Premier League match against Hull City on December 14, 2013
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Martin O'Neill claims that he will not chase Stephen Ireland to persuade him to play for the Republic of Ireland.

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has indicated that he is becoming frustrated with his attempts to include Stephen Ireland in his plans.

Ireland has not played for his country since 2007 after falling out of favour with previous managers due to controversy surrounding his decisions to not join up with some squads, and O'Neill has claimed that he will not continue to spend time persuading the Stoke City midfielder to make himself available.

"I had a meeting with a couple of the Stoke City players a few weeks ago, but deliberately didn't want to speak to Stephen in that group," O'Neill told reporters.

"I wanted to have that type of conversation with him on a one-on-one basis, so I called him to get something organised. There was no answer, which was fine because I'm not always immediately responsive myself to phone calls.

"But what I'm saying is that if he wants to get involved with us down the line, then he needs to know that I'm not going to continue chasing."

Ireland was criticised in 2007 for falsely claiming that his grandmothers had died so that he could leave an ROI squad.

Republic of Ireland's manager Martin O'Neill looks on with assistant manager Roy Keane before the start of the international friendly football match between the Republic of Ireland and Latvia at Aviva Stadium in Dublin on November 15, 2013
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