Stoke City's Marc Wilson stands by Republic decision

Stoke City's Marc Wilson
Marc Wilson is yet to make a competitive debut for the Republic of Ireland

Stoke City's Marc Wilson has said he will not change his mind about opting to play for the Republic of Ireland.

Midfielder Wilson was born in County Antrim but insists he will reject any approach from the new Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill.

The 24-year-old player has still to make his competitive debut for the Republic but has not given up hope of playing in the Euro 2012 finals.

"I have always seen myself as a Republic of Ireland player," he said.

Wilson's cause may not have been helped by a series of withdrawals at a time when Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni was uphappy with several players failing to report for duty.

Wilson told the Stoke's official website: "I supported the Republic when I was growing up and if I have to continue to bide my time and wait for my chance to come along, I am happy to do that.

"The players and the gaffer have done a great job there, so I can't complain about it really.

"I would love to play for them one day and I have made that clear a number of times. Hopefully, my time will come in the future.

"I would love to try to be part of the squad for the European finals, but if that does not happen, then I will keep working hard at Stoke and try to earn a spot in the Ireland team."

O'Neill, due to take up his job as Northern Ireland manager on 1 February, is aware of Wilson's eligibility, but the player insists there is no turning back.

"There is no way I would switch to Northern Ireland, though, now," added Wilson.

"I made the decision a few years ago without having my head turned by anybody, and I am sticking by that."

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