RICHARD Keogh says he is disappointed to have been overlooked for the Republic of Ireland’s crucial World Cup qualifying double-header.
There was no place for the Derby County defender in Giovanni Trapattoni’s squad to face Sweden in Dublin on Friday night and Austria in Vienna on Tuesday.
His Rams team-mates Conor Sammon and Jeff Hendrick were both called up, though Hendrick has had to withdraw due to an ankle injury.
Keogh has been capped twice to date, making his debut as a late substitute in a friendly against Poland in Feburary.
The former Coventry City centre-back was included in the squad for four matches over the summer but only made one appearance – his first start – in a friendly against Georgia, in which he scored and kept a clean sheet.
“I am disappointed not to be in the squad, to be honest,” said Keogh.
“I feel like I have started the season well and when I went away with Ireland last time, I thought I did well.
“But that’s football and I can only keep doing what I’m doing.
“I’m sure if I keep playing well for Derby, I’ll get back in there.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed.
“I think my form over the past three seasons has been consistent enough to be in with a shout.
“But it will give me a chance to recharge my batteries (during the international break) as I’ve played a lot of football.”
Ireland, Sweden and Austria are all level on points in Group C – behind leaders Germany – as they battle it out, most likely, for a play-off spot.
Keogh hopes Trapattoni’s side can do the business in his absence as he tries to force his way back into the reckoning.
“These two are the crunch games for us,” he added.
“It’s been a really tough group but we’ve given ourselves a great opportunity.
“It’s probably going to be decided in these two games and it would be great it the boys could do the job.
“To get to the World Cup is everyone’s dream.
“If we can do that and then I can edge my way back into the squad, that would be fantastic.”