- Darren Randolph is set to start Republic of Ireland's Russia 2018 qualifier with Austria on Saturday
- West Ham United stopper has been his country's No1 for more than a year
- No1 is hoping international performance can earn him more playing time with the Hammers
Darren Randolph is hoping an impressive performance in Republic of Ireland’s final international of 2016 could help him get more playing time with West Ham United.
The 29-year-old will start Ireland’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier with Austria in Vienna on Saturday, having established himself as his country’s No1 over the last 12 months.
However, while he wears the same number for the Hammers, Randolph has found his club appearances so far this season restricted to cup matches, with Spaniard Adrian keeping goal in the Premier League.
The Bray-born stopper is hoping another eye-catching display for the Boys in Green could change that situation, with West Ham preparing to travel to Tottenham Hotspur in the top flight a week on Saturday.
“I just need to keep training myself and when I do get the chance to perform, do so,” said Randolph, who has 17 caps. “It's down to me then.
“Adrian has been [at the Club] for four years, so he’s going to get the benefit of the doubt and get more games for the team to try and turn things around. I have to be patient like I have been.
“It’s only my second season and I’m not going to give up on [playing regularly at Premier League level] that easily.”
Randolph has done well when called upon this season, helping the Hammers to record a superb EFL Cup fourth-round win over Chelsea last month.
He now has a quarter-final at Manchester United to look forward to, but first the County Wicklow native has international duty to worry about.
Ireland have picked up seven points from their opening three Group D fixtures and can put themselves top if they better Serbia’s result in Wales on Saturday.
“It's kind of must-win for them and for us, we'd like to get minimum a point to keep us up there in the group, so there's going to be pressure on both teams,” he observed.
“They'll obviously want to improve on their last result, so it's going to be a tough game, a tough place to go.
“It would be a very good end to the year, and it would set us up nicely then going into next year and the rest of the games.”