Portsmouth winger Ronan Curtis up for the fight after his Republic of Ireland omission - Blues to benefit
Self-proclaimed ‘warrior’ Ronan Curtis has vowed to win back his place in the Republic of Ireland squad.
And that can only mean good news for Pompey, with the winger knowing it’s his club form that will lead to an international return.
Curtis has three caps for Eire, after making his senior debut in a friendly against Northern Ireland a year ago.
He’s been a regular in squad get-togethers following his move to Fratton Park from Derry City in the summer of 2018.
But the 23-year-old failed to make the cut for the Republic’s recent Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark and the friendly against New Zealand, after being included in manager Mick McCarthy’s provisional squad.
In the build-up to that announcement, Curtis had netted three goals in 16 Pompey appearances as he struggled to match the blistering start he made to his debut season on the south coast.
However, recent games have seen the wide man produce some of his best form of the campaign, with his superb strike at Harrogate proving the match-winner in the Blues’ FA Cup first-round tie against the non-leaguers.
Curtis will be keen to add to that effort against Rochdale this weekend as Pompey return to League One action.
And with a determination to improve his own form and that of the Blues, he knows the rewards will come on the international scene.
Curtis said: 'It was a little setback for me (being omitted from the Ireland squad), but I'll not be too gutted or disheartened by it, I just have to keep going and Mick knows that.
'I'm a warrior, I'll keep going, I'll keep fighting for my place there and the only way to do that is by playing well here, being in the team here, scoring and setting up goals and winning.
'I was texting Mick over the two Ireland games and he was just saying we'll see how you keep going with the club.
'He text me after the (Harrogate) game the other day and said well done, so I'll just keep doing it.
‘I've just got to dig deep until March when the next couple of games come up, and hopefully I'll be up there.'
Curtis told The News on Thursday he was disheartened after being dropped from Kenny Jackett’s starting XI last month.
Yet he confessed he fought through that disappointment.
Now he’s delighted to be playing a part in the momentum gained in recent outings.
'Every player goes through ups and downs, the best players in the world do it, but it's about maintaining it, keeping going and fighting it,’ added Curtis.
‘Momentum is building, the last 10 games, we're doing well.
‘This season’s form is a bit frustrating for the players, and I know it's frustrating for the fans, the staff and the coaches as well, but every player goes out onto that pitch and tries 100 per cent.
'There's not one player in that team that doesn't give 100 per cent, and that's all we want.’