Lawrence determined to bring strong form to International stage
Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni rewarded Liam Lawrence’s fine season for Stoke City with a call-up to the squad for Friday night’s friendly match against Nigeria.
The winger was in line to figure under Trap in October when named in the ‘B’ squad for the challenge match against Nottingham Forest until an injury ruled him out.
Lawrence (27) returned to the Stoke City team for the second part of the campaign and played an influential role in keeping the Premier League newcomers in the top-flight.
Earning his first cap against Nigeria would really crown a superb few months for the ex-Sunderland man.
He said: “I’m just delighted to be back in the squad. It was just a question of keeping my head down and waiting for my chance. But I was beginning to think it wasn’t meant to be
“Now I just want to push on with Ireland. It’s been frustrating so far, when it finally looked like I’d get my chance the injury ruined it for me, but if I get the chance now, well, it’s up to me to take it.”
Lawrence admits he’s still on a high following Stoke’s impressive campaign.
“I came back (from injury) quite strong; I didn’t want the season to end. We surprised quite a few people, but it will be harder next year - second-season syndrome and all that. But we relished being the underdog, every minute of it," he said.
“I believe I’ve got good quality on the ball. I’m good on set-pieces which is a big part of Stoke’s game.
“I’d be lying if I said I had pace – let’s be honest, I’m not lightning quick but I think I can bring a different dimension to the team. We’re in a fantastic position now in the World Cup qualifying group and I would love to play my part in keeping it going.”