Frustrated O'Dea seeks more first team action with Celtic

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The Independent Football

Gordon Strachan has assured Darren O'Dea he is in his plans at Celtic, but the Republic of Ireland Under-21 captain admits he is frustrated at his lack of first-team action.

O'Dea has made seven Celtic appearances this season, including starts against Rangers and Milan, and the 21-year-old defender wants more chances to impress the Celtic manager.

"It's been frustrating. I've not played nearly as much as I want but that is part of life in football," he said. "I've spoken to the manager to see where I'm at and I'm still in his plans, which is a positive thing, but at the end of the day I'm not playing so it's been frustrating."

A lack of regular action meant O'Dea was determined to catch the eye in the match against England Under-21s on Tuesday evening at St Mary's.

"Games like the England match are massive for me, in terms of playing and the fact that there are a lot of people watching," he said.

Sean McCaffrey, in charge of the Under-21s while Don Givens is with the seniors, was pleased with O'Dea and the Ipswich midfielder Owen Garvan. "Owen's doing very well," McCaffrey said. "He has a terrific football brain and is very aware of what is going on. He has terrific vision and a great range of passing. He is definitely a player that has the ability to go on."