Former Republic of Ireland manager Jack Charlton believes Stephen Ireland's international future can be easily resolved by the player himself.

The Manchester City midfielder withdrew from the Republic's Euro 2008 qualifier against the Czech Republic last September after telling then national team boss Steve Staunton his grandmother was dying. Eventually it emerged the real reason Ireland had returned home was because his girlfriend Jessica had suffered a miscarriage.

Ireland has not played since and Charlton said: "Apologise, come and play and say you're sorry for what you said and what you did or bugger off and don't bother. I wouldn't have stood for that at all."

The 22-year-old was recently quoted as saying he did not miss the international scene, instead preferring to concentrate on his club football and family commitments.

However, he refused to rule out returning in the future.

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