Clough confident Derby County striker Sammon can prove his worth for Republic of Ireland
REPUBLIC of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni showed plenty of faith in Conor Sammon when he kept the Derby County striker on the pitch for the full game against Poland last month.
Sammon made his senior international debut in the friendly and the 26-year-old has remained in the squad for the World Cup qualifiers in Sweden tonight and against Austria in Dublin on Tuesday.
Derby manager Nigel Clough believes Sammon has proved to Trapattoni that he is capable of playing a role in the qualifiers, should he be called on.
"Leaving Conor on for a full game showed an awful lot of faith in him," said Clough ahead of the Republic's game in Stockholm.
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"Is Robbie Keane in the squad? It would be interesting to see Conor up front with Robbie Keane, it would be like what we are doing with Conor and Chris Martin here at Derby," Clough added.
"Chris comes off defenders a little bit looking for the ball and Conor stretches defences with his running.
"Conor could be very dangerous in the away game against Sweden, if Ireland play on the break."
Rams midfielder Jeff Hendrick also kept his place in the squad after he made his debut against Poland.
Hendrick came off the bench with 20 minutes to go and the 21-year-old created Ireland's second goal, scored by Norwich City's Wes Hoolahan.
Clough says both Rams players deserve to be in the squad. He also feels defender Richard Keogh is unlucky not to be included.
"I didn't think Jeff was too good last Saturday against Leicester City," added Clough.
"He had one of his more quiet games but we didn't really get on the ball and so that was understandable in some ways. You saw more of Craig Bryson's energy and closing down in that sort of game.
"Then you look at what Conor did for the team.
"There are still moans from those who are not happy with him but look at his work-rate over the whole game, especially in the last 20 minutes.
"As well as centre-halves Richard Keogh and Jake Buxton did, Conor was as responsible as anybody for getting us the win against Leicester.
"He never gave their centre-halves a second.
"From the 75th minute there must have been six occasions when he forced Leicester to put the ball either out of play or straight through to Frank Fielding.
"That is six times when we didn't have to deal with the ball coming towards our box and that was down to Conor's pure honesty and hard work in putting the opposition under pressure.
"If you give somebody time in this league, they will put a decent ball into your penalty area.
"Conor never stopped working to prevent that happening.
"Our centre-halves absolutely love that and appreciate it."
The five strikers in the Ireland squad are Sammon, Keane, Shane Long, Jon Walters and Simon Cox.