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McCarthy To Give Game Time To Extended Squad
When Mick McCarthy came into the job as Republic of Ireland manager – second time around – it was straight into competitive actio.

When Mick McCarthy came into the job as Republic of Ireland manager – second time around – it was straight into competitive actio.

His team got straight to the task and they sit top of the table on Group D – with the benefit on Sunday of dropped points for Denmark against Georgia.

“I’m delighted it was a draw but the onus is still on us to go out there now and pick up points in October,” said McCarthy talking about the scoreless game in Georgia for the Danes.

It is a different task on Tuesday with Bulgaria coming to the Aviva for a friendly. It provides the chance for McCarthy to give game time to some of his extended squad during a brief respite from it being all about the results.

He can blood some players who may prove crucial to getting the Boys in Green over the line in this EURO 2020 campaign which could include a possible March 2020 play-off route off the back of last year’s UEFA Nations League.

Sheffield United’s John Egan is likely to add to the two international caps that he has already earned while Luton Town striker James Collins, along with Shamrock Rovers’ Jack Byrne are likely to earn their first international caps.

“There will be some changes against Bulgaria and the players understand that,” said McCarthy. “Those who have travelled with us for the five competitive games without playing know that some of them will get their chances to impress in this match.”

Back in late 2015, Collins and Egan were facing off in the third tier in English football but the pair, who spoke to the media at FAI HQ on Sunday, have seen their club’s progress to a level that has earmarked them welcome attention from Mick McCarthy.

“We were playing against one another in League One for Gillingham and Shrewsbury and we have both come far since then with me in the Championship and John in the Premier League,” said Collins. 

“It has been a long journey. When you are doing well it gets recognised. I’ve been lucky to make it back-to-back promotions with Luton and making that step up to League One last year and now the Championship now this year is really special. 

“I’m delighted I’m here and if I do get a chance it is all about taking it. With the game being a friendly on Tuesday , it’s a massive opportunity for me and players who’ve not got minutes.”

Sitting beside Collins, John Egan admitted that he has found the Luton Town striker a “handful” to deal with and that he has looked “sharp” in training.

“He’s agood finisher,” said Egan. “James has been brilliant and anywhere he’s been, he’s scored goals. When you’re going through the scores on Saturday, any team he’s played for, he’s always been on the scoresheet, which is your job as a striker.”

Egan was a cohort of four Sheffield United players in the Ireland squad last week but Callum Robinson and David ‘Didsy’ McGoldrick will miss Tuesday’s game due to injury. 

“It has been brilliant,” said Egan about playing in the Premier League alongside Robinson, McGoldrick and Enda Stevens. “The Premier League is the league that everyone wants to play in so to get that chance is fantastic. 

“The Championship is really physically demanding, playing every Saturday and Tuesday. I think the Premier League is probably more mentally demanding.

“You’re playing against top teams every week, so you’re being asked different questions and coming up against the best strikers. It can only benefit me and make me a better player.”

When asked the player what the reaction was after the late equaliser against Switzerland last Tuesday. “Everyone was delighted that ‘Didsy’ was the man to pop up. In the dressing room, after you get a late goal that gets you something from a game, it’s always brilliant.”

Posted by voc1967 on Monday 09 September 2019 - 09:06:33 | Comments (0)  |  printer friendly
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