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Giovanni Trapattoni: Kieren Westwood needs to play more games to regain number one spot

Updated: Monday, 04 Feb 2013 13:08 | Comments

Westwood has made more appearances for his country this season
Westwood has made more appearances for his country this season

Giovanni Trapattoni has warned goalkeeper Keiren Westwood he may have to leave Sunderland if he wants to be the Republic of Ireland number one goalkeeper

Westwood has stepped into the sizeable boots of Shay Given since Given announced his retirement from international football in the wake of the Euro 2012 finals.

However, the 28-year-old's lack of football at the Stadium of Light, with Belgium international Simon Mignolet firmly established as Martin O'Neill's first choice, has left him fighting for his Ireland place.

Trapattoni, who is likely to hand Millwall's David Forde a start in Wednesday's friendly with Poland, said: "The goalkeeper is a particularly delicate position.

"I don't worry about an outfield player if he is not playing for his club, but a goalkeeper is alone on the pitch and (if he hasn't been playing) then it's more difficult psychologically.

"I hope Westwood can play in the future, but now the manager chooses Mignolet."

Trapattoni went on: "I told him you can change club and you can play. But with Forde and (Stephen) Henderson we are okay. It's important we give Forde this opportunity."

Forde has won only four senior caps to date, but is now a genuine contender for next month's vital World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria.

Given has indicated that he is willing to come out of retirement if required, but he too is currently second in line to Brad Guzan at Aston Villa.

Westwood has made just three senior appearances for the Black Cats so far this season, all of them in the Capital One Cup, with the last coming in the 1-0 fourth-round home defeat to Middlesbrough on 30 October.

Indeed, he has played more games for Ireland, starting the friendly against Serbia in August and the subsequent qualifiers against Kazakhstan, Germany - in which he conceded six times - and the Faroe Islands. 

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