SAINTS defend­er Ryan Man­ning is being ‘mon­i­tored’ by the Repub­lic of Ire­land hav­ing missed out on a call-up for their friend­lies this month.

The 27 year old did not make inter­im boss John O’Shea’s 26-man squad along­side Will Small­bone and Gavin Bazunu due to ill­ness.

Man­ning has played 33 games for Southamp­ton this sea­son since join­ing on a free trans­fer fol­low­ing his depar­ture from Swansea City.

Speak­ing to the press after announc­ing his first Ire­land squad, for­mer Man­ches­ter Unit­ed defend­er O’Shea explained: “He’s been mon­i­tored.

“There could be a chance for him to come in towards the sec­ond game. We will have to wait and see.”

O’Shea was also asked about Ire­land’s num­ber-one goal­keep­er dilem­ma. First-choice keep­er Bazunu’s spot is at risk due to Caoimhin Kelle­her’s stel­lar form.

Kelle­her has impressed for Liv­er­pool in Alis­son Beck­er’s absence which could see him take Saints shot-stop­per Bazunu’s spot between the sticks.

“It’s healthy com­pe­ti­tion in that sense,” O’Shea added. “It’s great to see Caoimhin get a con­sis­tent run of games. Gavin has had that all sea­son.

“It’s a tricky one. Mark Tra­vers was doing well at Stoke before he was called back by Bournemouth.

“I remem­ber think­ing about the qual­i­ty in depth we have at goal­keep­er back in the sum­mer when the lads went away to Turkey.

“It’s going to be a tough deci­sion. Who knows, we will get the Bel­gium game out of the way by pick­ing one of them and then see what hap­pens after that.

“It’s a nice prob­lem to have. The big thing for me is the rela­tion­ship you build up with the team — the unit between the back four or five. 

“That will be the key thing for me, as soon as you get that rela­tion­ship, you get a con­sis­ten­cy to it.”