Carlos Carvalhal says Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood shouldn’t give up hope of making it to this summer’s European Championships with the Republic of Ireland.
But the Owls head coach admits it is none of his business which goalkeepers Martin O’Neill chooses to take to France.
Carvalhal reiterated his belief that Westwood is the best goalkeeper in the Championship - but the 31-year-old is down the pecking order when it comes to the international scene.
In the most recent friendlies, the former Sunderland ‘keeper was included in O’Neill’s initial 40-man squad but failed to make the cut, with Newcastle’s Rob Elliot, West Ham’s Darren Randolph and David Forde of Millwall kept in.
Even with Eliott picking up a serious injury in the Republic’s match against Slovakia earlier this week, it is expected that Shay Given will come back into the fray, despite featuring more times for his country than club Stoke City this season.
Carvalhal wouldn’t offer his opinion on whether he believes Westwood should make it to Euro 2016 - but did state that his number one, who suffered injuries earlier in the campaign, is in the best shape of the season.
“You understand I am the coach, and that is the work of another coach,” said Carvalhal.
“I can’t talk about the options of another coach because if I do this, I am shooting against my goal because I don’t like other coaches talking about my options.
“What I can say about Keiren is what I said before: we are very happy with Keiren. He is doing fantastic here, he is a goalkeeper who was the best in the Championship, and he is still the best ‘keeper in the competition.
“He probably doesn’t have as much work to do as last year, because goalkeepers at big teams don’t have too much work, but they are responsible to give answers in difficult situations.
“He had a period where he had some problems. After his last physical problem, he has been fantastic. He came back very strong. He is playing fantastically after the injury, he is strong and in his best shape of the season.
“After this, it is the problem of the other coach [O’Neill]. He understands his goalkeepers. But that doesn’t mean that Keiren can’t be involved in the future. It is not my job to comment on.”
The Owls head coach added: “It is good to see that he is acting like a goalkeeper from a big team because usually they don’t have too much work to do because usually the opponents are not creating too much. But when they create one or two dangerous situations, Keiren is helping the team keep clean sheets and not concede goals.”