Fresh from making his first Premier League appearance of the season in Newcastle United's 1-0 defeat of Manchester United on Sunday afternoon, Ciaran Clark discussed his international hopes with the Republic of Ireland.
With over 30-caps to his name, even the absence of Shane Duffy and Richard Keogh could not guarantee defender Ciaran Clark a place in Mick McCarthy's Republic of Ireland squad for the upcoming qualifiers against Georgia and Switzerland.
It should come as little surprise, however, given that Clark's season had been limited one EFL Cup second-round run-out against Leicester City before featuring in Sunday's defeat of Manchester United.
"Personally for me, it was great to be back out there, get the clean sheet and the win," explained Ciaran Clark to Off the Ball in the immediate aftermath of Sunday's win.
"It was all about trying to get into the Newcastle team for a start, and if you're not playing game you're not going to get picked [for international duty] at the end of the day."
Selected for Martin O'Neill's Ireland squad in the 2016 European Championships in France, Clark remains hopeful that he can push his way into Mick McCarthy's plans for next year's edition of the tournament.
"I spoke to him a while back and he mentioned [the lack of games]," admitted Clark, "and I knew that myself going into this season that it was all about trying to get games.
"It's obviously frustrating for me not being able to play because it doesn't give me a chance then to go away and play for Ireland.
"Hopefully I can use this as a chance to really push on and get some more games and knocking on the door for the [international squad]."
After featuring in Sunday's much-needed win for Newcastle United, Ciaran Clark will be hoping that Steve Bruce retains his trust in the Irish defender as the club heads into a crucial few weeks.