Drissa dreams of Guinea return
DRISSA Diallo is hoping a path can be cleared for him to return to international football with Guinea.The Mauritania-born defender has admitted watching the World Cup qualifiers with a touch of envy and is itching to get back playing for his country.
DRISSA Diallo is hoping a path can be cleared for him to return to international football with Guinea.
The Mauritania-born defender has admitted watching the World Cup qualifiers with a touch of envy and is itching to get back playing for his country.
He is also well aware that his commitment to Ipswich Town is paramount but hopes the alignment of the international calendar will work in his favour.
Diallo last night told the EADT: “It is a dilemma for me. I love playing for my national team and it is a great honour.
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“The manager (Patrice Neveu) wants me to play and I would love to play in the World Cup.
“The fixtures are a lot better now as Championship games are not played when international games are on, whereas it just used to be Premiership games that were called off.
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“Hopefully there will be a way for me to go back playing for Guinea. Perhaps the national coach will speak to Joe Royle about it and something can be sorted out.
“Never say never as they say but I don't want to miss any Ipswich games.”
Guinea top their six-team qualifying group with eight points after four games, which included a 2-1 win over African Nations Cup winners Tunisia and a draw with runners-up Morocco.
They face Kenya away in the next game in November and then go to Morocco in March. Both are designated international dates with no Championship matches.
Best friend, but foe for a day, Mo Camara is in a similar situation.
The Burnley defender is another the Guinea coach would love to have in his side.
Diallo and Camara, who signed for the Clarets from Wolves, weeks after the 31-year-old chose to join Ipswich, face each other on Saturday with both knowing this will be a completely different Burnley side to the one Town trounced 6-1 a year ago.
Diallo said: “This is a completely different team, with a different manager and, of the back five, only Mo is left.
“In John McGreal and Frank Sinclair they have a very experienced central defensive pairing and Danny Coyne is a good international keeper.
“They defend as a team with 10 men getting behind the ball when they lose it. They have a fantastic record, conceding just one goal away from home and that includes playing such teams as Leicester, Reading and Wigan.
“Up front they have Ian Moore and Robbie Blake, who I know very well from my days at Turf Moor.
“He is an all or nothing player and on his day Robbie is a handful for any defence.”
Diallo took advantage of the international break to visit friends and family in Paris with his wife.
He said: “It was good to get away for a few days and I have come back feeling mentally fresh and physically strong.
“People talked about us being level top but I'm not too interested in the table at the moment. All I'm focusing on is playing Burnley on Saturday and if we keep winning we will not need to worry about looking at the table.”
Diallo, who made his debut in English football against Ipswich Town at Turf Moor, was switched from a centre-back to right-back when Fabian Wilnis was injured during the summer and has proved difficult to dislodge.
Dutchman Wilnis has been playing on the left side of defence but will miss the Burnley game as he serves the third of a three-match ban.
Keeper Kelvin Davis is expected to resume as the No. 1 keeper after a strained back ligament forced him to miss a game and a half.
Lewis Price has been away on international duty with Wales Under-21, losing his battle with Darren Bent and England and then conceding two more as the Welsh were held to a 2-2 draw by Poland in Swansea.
Bent missed the England Under-21s goal-less draw in Azerbaijan with a hamstring injury and is a doubt for Burnley's visit.
If Diallo were to return to the international fold it would mean Ipswich having three players at senior level, two in the under-21s and if any three of those five were selected for a squad, Town would automatically have their game called off if necessary.
The Blues have a further three representatives at other levels playing for England - Chris Hogg (Under-20s), Dean Bowditch (Under-19s) and Darryl Knights (Under-17s).