Stevens targets Euro call-up

Enda Stevens Picture: Joe Pepler
Enda Stevens Picture: Joe Pepler

ENDA STEVENS has targeted a powerful finish to the season to fulfil his Euro dream.

The Pompey left-back is hoping his fine form this season will capture the attention of Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill.

Stevens has told of his ambitions to make it into the Ireland squad and board the plane for this summer’s European Championships in France.

The 25-year-old has been a stand-out performer for Paul Cook’s side this season.

His forward-thinking intent and consistency has been a big plus since being released by Aston Villa last June.

O’Neill was at Fratton Park to take in Pompey’s FA Cup clash with Bournemouth last month and ran the rule over the Dublin-born talent.

Stevens has international experience at under-21 level but has not yet been involved with the senior squad.

He’s now aiming for a strong final 17 league games to put himself in O’Neill’s thoughts.

‘It’s a dream. Oh, definitely, definitely,’ said Stevens.

‘It would be a dream of mine to earn an international call-up but I’ve got to focus on my club football.

‘If I keep playing well then hopefully that will get me into the Irish team.

‘I have played for the under-21s a few times. It was a good experience.

‘I was still in Ireland when I got my caps and then I was too old when I moved to England.

‘I wasn’t there for too long.

‘I got three caps but it was a great experience and I’d love to push on to the internationals.

‘It doesn’t do me any harm (O’Neill watching Pompey).

‘Obviously, it’s his decision and he’s the manager so he picks his players.

‘All I can do is play well for my club and hopefully, if I do well, that will be rewarded with a call-up.’

Stevens has been an ever-present in the league for Pompey this season.

The former Doncaster loanee is the only player in Cook’s squad to have achieved that.

Only a red card against Morecambe has stopped him playing every minute of every League Two game.

The full-back is now on a 29-game unbroken run of starts after being rested for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy trip to Exeter at the start of September.

Ben Davies was on a similar run until he was taken out of the equation for new loan arrival Kieron Freeman against Leyton Orient.

Stevens is adamant he doesn’t need a rest, though.

He added: ‘I just want to focus on playing every game and playing well in every game.

‘Fitness is a big part of the game and if I wasn’t fit I wouldn’t be playing.

‘I don’t think the manager would play me.

‘I don’t want or need a rest.’