Aldridge interested in assistant's role with Ireland

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The Independent Football

John Aldridge is willing to assist the Republic of Ireland in any capacity, despite deciding not to apply for the vacant manager's job after twice being turned down for the role in the past.

The 49-year-old former Liverpool striker, who won 69 caps for Ireland and whose sole job in management covered five years at Tranmere Rovers, said he would be interested in assisting any new man in the national job.

"Obviously, as a coach you've got to be interested in managing your country," Aldridge said. "Being able to work for your country in any capacity would be interesting. I was interested the last couple of times, I put my name in the hat."

Aldridge also told Stephen Ireland to demonstrate the desire to get himself back into the Ireland squad. The Manchester City midfielder was not included in the party for the upcoming European Championship qualifier against Wales in the wake of the latest incident – a shorts-dropping goal celebration during a match against Sunderland on Monday – in what has been a particularly troubled time.

"He's a very, very good player," Aldridge said. "I think Stephen really has to look at how much he wants to play for his country. He's going to be very influential for the future of Irish football for me. He's the type of player that we need. He's got to really want it badly."