Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane is still reportedly trying to get his head around the idea that he is being called up to Republic of Ireland national team where he looks to establish himself.
Hourihane has featured in all five competitive matches under the tutelage of manager Mick McCarthy despite having suffered some difficulties earlier in his career as a footballer.
During an interview via Irish Examiner, Hourihane was asked what it meant for him to be called up again and potentially being a regular in McCarthy's team.
“That’s definitely not my mindset, that’s for sure. I don’t see myself as one of the first names on the teamsheet. If you become complacent, that’s when someone pushes you out of the way.
“People like Alan Browney did fantastically in the game against Bulgaria and he’ll be pushing me for my place, so I know I need to be on top of my game to be on the teamsheet come Saturday.
“I’ll be working this week like I’m fighting for my place, like it’s one of my first caps, and hopefully be selected for the weekend.”
The 28-year-old spent two years at Barnsley before he attracted the interest of Aston Villa - he scored in his side's 5-1 victory over Norwich City to make his presence known in the Premier League.
“When I dropped down to League Two, I always had that self-confidence and self-belief that I would come back up.
“I worked so hard, even on my days off, working hard, sacrificing everything to make it happen.
“Yes, it was great at the weekend and it shows hard work does pay off with those kinds of moments, but it is one I won’t be resting on. I’m never satisfied with my game, I’m always my worst critic.
“I’m working on my game this week again to try to improve. Maybe later on in my career, or when I’m finished, I’ll look back on it with great pride, but now is not the time to look back on it, it’s time to kick on again.”
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