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Anthony Pilkington puts Republic of Ireland first despite uncertain club future

Updated: Saturday, 24 May 2014 11:50 | Comments

Anthony Pilkington did not train on Friday ahead of Sunday's friendly
Anthony Pilkington did not train on Friday ahead of Sunday's friendly

Anthony Pilkington will put his club future to one side as he concentrates on the Republic of Ireland.

The 25-year-old Norwich midfielder is currently in Ireland preparing for the Republic's end-of-season friendlies against Turkey, Italy, Costa Rica and Portugal, and looked on from afar on Thursday as the Canaries appointed temporary boss Neil Adams as Chris Hughton's permanent successor.

Pilkington found himself out of the team with Adams at the helm during the final stages of a disastrous Barclays Premier League campaign that ended in relegation.

However, while what lies ahead my be uncertain, he is refusing to allow that to distract him from the task at hand.

Asked about his future, Pilkington said: "I don't know, I don't know. I wasn't really in the manager's plans towards the end of the season, so I'll have to wait and see.

"All I'm concentrating on now is doing well for Ireland, doing well for the country, putting that to the back of my mind and then dealing with that after the friendlies.

"I am just concentrating on playing for the country and doing well through the summer, and I will have to deal with that when I get back."

"Every game is a shop window and you want to do your best in every game that you play in" - Anthony Pilkington

Pilkington has a year of his contract to run after Norwich exercised an option, but knows the summer internationals could represent a shop window for him if it transpires that he is no longer wanted at Carrow Road.

He said: "Every game is a shop window and you want to do your best in every game that you play in.

"But I am just happy to be over here and back playing again and hopefully I can get some game-time."

Pilkington has had to remain patient as he attempts to make his mark on the international stage with a series of injuries in recent years having limited him to just three senior caps to date.

He has to manage his body carefully - he did not train with the rest of his team-mates in Malahide on Friday after completing the warm-up - but having missed so much football in recent weeks, he is desperate to be involved in Sunday's clash with Turkey at the Aviva Stadium.

He said: "Obviously I have not played for a long time, so my match-sharpness and my match-fitness won't be as good as it could be, but hopefully I can use these games to get it back and get going again.

"The manager has just said come, train, get your fitness back and then we will go from there. He said, 'Just enjoy it', and that's what you have got to do playing for your country.

"There are lots of players here, so I think the manager is going to chop and change it going into the qualifiers."

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