Stoke City's Marc Wilson sets sights on Republic of Ireland return
MARC Wilson is hoping his Stoke return will give him a chance to join the Republic of Ireland's battle for Brazil.
The 25-year-old left-back expects to be available for Stoke's game at Fulham next Saturday after four months out with a broken leg.
He revealed that Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has kept in touch during his injury absence, so he is hoping to force his way back into the manager's plans as Ireland try to qualify for next summer's World Cup in Brazil.
However, Ireland have their work cut out to qualify.
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They are third in their qualifying group behind leaders Germany and Sweden, and weren't helped when the Swedes fought back from 4-0 down to force a 4-4 draw in Germany in October.
Ireland are away to the Swedes in a potentially decisive qualifier on March 22 and also face England in friendly at Wembley on May 29.
Wilson, who has three senior caps, said: "I need to get myself playing for Stoke first and foremost before I can even consider being selected for Ireland.
"Giovanni Trapattoni has texted me a few times to ask how I am getting on and said he hasn't forgotten me.
"That was good to hear, so if I can get myself right here hopefully I can get myself back in the international team.
"Ireland have a difficult game coming up against Sweden. It's a crucial match because they are one point ahead of us in the group after they got that magnificent result against Germany.
"It's going to be a very important game for us and I want to get myself back for it."
Tony Pulis will be keen to have Wilson back in action because the Potters have struggled to fill the left-back spot since Wilson broke his left leg against Sunderland on October 27.
Andy Wilkinson and Geoff Cameron have both been played out of position there, but Wilson's return will allow Wilkinson, Cameron and Ryan Shotton to compete for the right-back spot.
Meanwhile, Wilson says he is in awe of Robert Huth after watching the centre-half have 28 stitches after a clash of heads in the game against Wigan last month.
Huth completed the game following the first half incident, then spent an hour being stitched up.
Wilson said: "I drove him home that night because he couldn't drive in the state he was in.
"It was one of the worst cuts of the forehead I have ever seen, he had his eyebrow split in three places.
"It was a nasty one but he didn't complain about it, just sat on the bed and got stitched up.
"All he said was 'I've got a bit of a sore head'. Then when I saw him the next morning he was okay again."
Huth showed there were no lasting effects when he powered home a header against Reading last week for his first goal of the season.
Wilson added: "It was about time he got another goal. I was really pleased for him because he is a great lad and an absolute machine."