Hull City: Paul McShane wants to end Ireland 'embarrassment'
PAUL McShane says a lack of domestic football with Hull City has left him feeling "embarrassed" to receive continued call-ups to the Republic of Ireland squad.
After making his first back-to-back starts for the Tigers since October 2010, McShane has this week joined up with Giovanni Trapattoni's squad ahead of their vital World Cup qualifiers against Germany and the Faroe Islands.
Although the 26-year-old has had to bide his time in the shadows of the KC Stadium over the last two seasons, his popularity on the international scene has remained undimmed.
McShane even earned a place in Ireland's squad at Euro 2012 despite a lack of football last season and the defender admits he has been left bemused by his standing in Trapattoni's plans.
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"International football is still a massive deal for me," McShane told the Mail.
"I'm sometimes surprised I still get called up to be honest because I haven't played really in the last two years.
"Trapattoni seems to have faith in me and that's something I obviously appreciate.
"There are times when you get called up and you're not playing, you feel a bit embarrassed when you turn up.
"All the lads there are playing every week in the Premier League or Championship and you feel like the odd one out.
"But being involved with international football will always be huge for me, it's always very special."
Since making his Ireland debut in October 2006, McShane has amassed an impressive 28 caps over the last six years.
A struggle for regular domestic football has limited his opportunities and forced him into loan spells away from the KC Stadium, with Barnsley in 2011 and Crystal Palace for the second half of last season.
The aim now is to retain his place in Steve Bruce's plan upon his return from international duty next week and McShane knows that can help promote his Ireland ambitions.
"It's an important thing in international football to be playing every week for your club," he said. "If you're not and you get thrown into a game like the Germany one we've got coming up, you're going to be off a bit, you're going to be a bit rusty.
"That's why I felt like I had to go to Palace last season because it helps you so much."
Ireland face a key week in their bid to reach back-to-back major tournaments.
Their opening game in Group C brought a 2-1 win in Kazakhstan but a sterner test awaits when Germany arrive in Dublin on Friday night.
A trip to the Faroe Islands next Tuesday should provide three points, but heavy competition for qualifying spots will come from Sweden and Austria.
"We've got some good opportunities as a group and hopefully we can look at getting to a World Cup," added McShane.
"That would be a fantastic target for all of us."