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.

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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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