"As long as he's here, he's got my full backing" - James McClean speaks about Harry Arter's return to the Ireland squad 1 year ago

"As long as he's here, he's got my full backing" - James McClean speaks about Harry Arter's return to the Ireland squad

"He's a good lad. He's a good player.

Harry Arter was part of the Republic of Ireland squad that trained in Dublin on Tuesday afternoon ahead of two crucial games in the Uefa Nations League.

Martin O'Neill's team play Denmark on Saturday and against Wales next Tuesday at the Aviva Stadium.

The two matches could decide their fate in the competition and have big implications for Euro 2020 qualification. If Ireland finish bottom of their mini-group, they'll be seeded third for Euro 2020 qualification.

There has been some mixed news regarding squad members ahead of the games.

Seamus Coleman, Stephen Ward and Jonathan Walters all miss out through injury and Declan Rice is still unavailable as he takes more time to decide his international future.

However, Harry Arter has returned to the squad following his absence from the Ireland camp last month.

The Bournemouth midfielder, currently on loan at Cardiff City, removed himself from selection amid reports he had a dispute with Roy Keane.

The Ireland assistant manager is said to have questioned Arter willingness to train in a heated incident before Ireland's friendlies with France and the United States back in May and June.

The pair appeared to have resolved their differences though, and Arter was part of the Ireland squad that trained at the Aviva on Tuesday.

With the midfielder back in the squad, James McClean was inevitably asked about his teammate.

The Stoke City winger, who missed last month's Ireland games through injury, played down the significance of the incident. He said that it hasn't affected the mood in the Ireland camp.

"Two men having a row. That's unheard of," he said. McClean was then asked if the media had made too much of the incident.

"Yeah, they always do.

"So what? Someone had a go at someone, we're all grown men at the end of the day. You just get on with it.

"The morale in the squad is good. It's always been good."

Martin O'Neill explains how Harry Arter returned to the Ireland

"Harry is happy to be back and wants to put it behind him." Harry Arter has returned to the Repub...

Glad to see Harry Arter return.

The Derry native also said that, while he didn't agree with Arter's decision to remove himself from selection, he is happy to see him back in the squad.

"Yeah, I'm pleased to see him back. Obviously, he's a good lad. He's a good player," he said.

"At the minute, we need all the good players we can get. He's here to play for his country. As long as he's here, he's got my full backing."

"I'd tell Harry myself that I don't agree with that (refusing a call-up). You'd have to put a gun to my head for me to not show up and play for Ireland. But obviously everyone is different, and he's here now.

"He's a teammate. He's here to play for Ireland. He's got my backing 100 per cent."

Arter is one of the few players available to O'Neill that is playing regularly in the Premier League this season - albeit in a struggling Cardiff side.

The Ireland manager was also keen to stress that he is happy to see him come back into the squad and that they have put the incident behind them

"At the moment, his club team had a [bad] result in the week. But he's playing for a start and we've not that many players playing [regular football]," O'Neill told reporters.

"So, it's good to put [the Keane incident] behind and it's nice to see him back.

"I probably believe that it should make Harry stronger for it all."

"If there’s criticism coming your way, take it in some sort of spirit and attempt to prove someone wrong if the criticism is levelled at you. And if someone is praising you, then try to prove them right."