Fahey Omission A Surprise - McLeish

Last updated : 09 October 2009 By Brian Cartlidge

The Blues midfielder has been an ever-present in the Blues first team squad this season and has put in some eye-catching performance's in what is his first taste of Premier League football.

"Am I surprised he has been overlooked by Ireland? I am a little bit surprised this time," McLeish told the Press Association.

"He is one of the first names on the team-sheet because I can trust him.

"He takes the ball, has a change of pace and has been a superb team player.

"He has an engine, he covers for his team-mates. He is a great all-round player."

"I know it is difficult picking international sides.

"You are trying to find a position for a new guy but you have got a bit of momentum and you have guys already in the squad.

"That can be a stumbling block in itself but Liam Brady phoned me a few weeks ago and I told him Keith was playing versus Aston Villa and he played really well in that game.

"I am sure Liam would have gone back with a good report. He would have the benefit from knowing Keith from his younger days at Arsenal, although he is nothing like the player now he was then."