Monday, November 29, 2010

Ciarán clark has no regrets over Irish international decision

Ciarán Clark insists he has no regrets about deciding to pledge his international future to Ireland rather than England.

The 21-year-old Aston Villa centre-back ­underlined his massive potential with two goals in the 4-2 defeat by Arsenal on Saturday.

Clark, who has played for England Under U-20’s, impressed as an emergency midfielder against the Gunners, but is standing by his choice to represent Ireland and hopes to make his debut for the senior team against Macedonia in March.

“I’ve made my decision, I am Irish,” said Clark.

I’ve played for England in the younger age groups but the time has come and I’ve decided to play for Ireland if selected. All my family is based in Ireland. If selected I’m sure I will have so much support over there.

“I am just looking forward to the next international game now as I was injured for the last one but there are a lot of games before then for Villa.”

Of his goals against Arsenal he said: “I didn’t have time to celebrate, I just wanted to get the ball back and push on for the next one.”

Meanwhile Villa boss Gerard Houllier has sung the praises of Clark after the youngster netted twice in the defeat to Arsenal.

After going into the interval two down, Clark twice brought Villa to within a goal of the Gunners before Jack Wilshere's stoppage-time header secured the points for Arsene Wenger's men.

The brace was the 21-year-old's first-ever senior goals for the club and Houllier is looking for the defender-turned-midfielder to push on.

The French boss said: "Ciaran can play centre-back, as he did against Blackburn last week, but I think, because he has footballing qualities, he can help as a defensive midfielder.

“We played him there because we are practically depleted in midfield.

"Ciarán is doing that very well at the moment and he can also score goals.

"He almost did against Chelsea, when he hit the post. He is developing. He is coming up well."