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Sunderland's Stokes fears for international future

Sunderland striker Anthony Stokes admits he fears his international career is over after going AWOL from the Republic of Ireland U21 squad last month.

He said: "The row, for me, was silly. I had a niggling injury, but he (coach Don Givens) went to the Press and handled it the way he wanted to handle it. It's in the past as far as I'm concerned, I still want to play for my country, I'll play for Ireland whenever I'm called up, but it's not looking too likely that I'll be called up again soon.

"I had a problem and I spoke to the gaffer (Keane) about it. He said that if I was injured I shouldn't travel. It was a misunderstanding, I think he thought I was going to be assessed by the medical staff and I thought Sunderland were going to speak to the Irish FA, it was a big mess up. I have to take my share of the responsibility and I regret what happened, but it looks as though I could be on a long international break now.

"I don't know if I'll be selected again. As far as I'm concerned I want to get on with playing football for Sunderland, keep my form up and, hopefully, I'll be picked for Ireland again."

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