FORMER Republic of Ireland captain Andy Townsend believes Harry Arter must not let previous international pain get in the way of future opportunities.

Midfielder Arter was part of the Ireland side which fell agonisingly short of a World Cup spot having lost to Denmark in a play-off in November.

The Cherries star, today named in Martin O'Neill's provisional squad to face Turkey in a friendly, suffered huge disappointment when he was ruled out of the Euro 2016 by injury.

Townsend helped Ireland reach the World Cup quarter-finals in 1990 – their best effort in a major tournament – and skippered the Boys in Green to the last 16 in 1994.

Now a television pundit, he told the Daily Echo: “I know how it feels to miss out in a play-off and how difficult it is to come through it.

“The next Euros is going to be a big one for Harry. Two years is a long way off so all he can do is channel his focus back into club football.

“He has another opportunity and must make sure his levels don’t drop.”

Like Arter, Townsend declared for Ireland despite not being born in the country. The pair cut their teeth in non-league, Townsend with Welling and Weymouth and Arter with Woking.

The 28-year-old has not featured in Cherries’ past seven league games, his latest first-team appearance coming in the 3-0 FA Cup third-round replay defeat at Wigan in January.

The Boys in Green are due to face Turkey at New Antalya Stadium on Friday, March 23.