Republic of Ireland Under-21 midfielder Connor Ronan says he delighted to return to international action after an injury kept him out of the Armenia and Sweden qualifiers.

Ireland welcome Italy to Tallaght Stadium on Thursday (kick-off 8.05pm) as they look to continue their winning start to the qualifying campaign.

Ronan was ruled out of the qualifiers against Armenia and Sweden in September but returns to the squad for the crucial double-header against Italy and Iceland.

"It's great to be back, it was the first thing I thought of when I got my injury that I'll be missing out on the two matches," admitted Ronan.

"But, it was great to see the lads pick up the two wins. I was watching from home and the way the Sweden game went, it was great to see the lads get such an important result in the way they did.

"I would have obviously liked to have been there as well but it's great to be back involved and I'm really looking forward to the game tomorrow."

The 21-year old has continued his loan spell at Slovakian side Dunajská Streda and has started the season brilliantly, scoring in the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds against Cracovia.

A regular starter at his club, Ronan said it was an easy decision to re-sign on loan in Slovakia to get important game-time he needs for his development.

"I'm really enjoying it in Slovakia. I think it's really important for me at this stage of my career to be getting regular game-time at club level," continued Ronan.

"I didn't feel the need to change really as it went really well last season and the manager backs me so that's really important for me.

"I feel like I'm getting better and better with more time on the pitch. It's helped me get in the Under-21 squad as well and it's been a brilliant year so far. We're all buzzing for the game, especially with the sell-out so hopefully we can get the result we need."