Mick McCarthy has suggested that the Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood and Fulham midfielder Harry Arter will only be considered for international selection as last resorts.
McCarthy, the Republic of Ireland manager, has left both players out of his latest squad.
Both Westwood and Arter, who played against one another as Wednesday drew 1-1 with Fulham last month, were called up last time out.
But Westwood later withdrew himself from consideration over an injury concern – something Arter was no stranger to himself before he joined Fulham in the summer transfer window.
And McCarthy told The Irish Mirror: “Harry’s not been playing and I had a conversation with him and Keiren the other day.
“If I rang them up and wanted them to play, they’d both be happy to come along.
“Both of them were carrying injuries and actually would prefer, I think, to make sure they’re right for their clubs at this moment in time. It suits me.
“I said to Harry he wouldn’t be in the squad anyway, with the six midfielders I’ve got.
“And Kieren’s not going to start if Darren Randolph’s there and the other two lads (Mark Travers and Kieran O’Hara) were brilliant in training.
“So I had that conversation with them. If I need them, they’ll be ready but I think they’re both happy enough with my decision.
“They can concentrate on the (club) football without having to tell me. I’m telling them.”
Westwood, who turns 35 later this month, has won 21 caps for Ireland, but only four of those have been as a Sheffield Wednesday player.
In contrast, Arter – who was brought to Fulham by his brother-in-law boss, Scott Parker – has made all 15 of his international appearances during his colleague’s Hillsborough career.
Meanwhile, another two of Sheffield Wednesday’s more experienced regulars, Barry Bannan and Steven Fletcher, have again been overlooked by the Scotland manager, Steve Clarke.