Changing of the guard in Ireland squad with Parrott in and Long out for Denmark clash

Changing of the guard in Ireland squad with Parrott in and Long out for Denmark clash

Mick McCarthy has welcomed Robbie Brady and Ciaran Clark back into the Ireland squad named to face Denmark in a crunch Euro 2020 qualifier and the upcoming friendly against New Zealand.

Brady, who scored a vital goal against Gibraltar in June, returns from injury along with David McGoldrick and Newcastle defender Clark who is back in the fold for the first time this year.

Explaining his decision to recall Brady, McCarthy said “Robbie was left out last month simply because he had only played three minutes in the Premier League all season when I named the squad.

“He is back involved with the Burnley first team now and getting game time and his involvement is a real boost to us ahead of the match against Denmark because of the quality he brings to the team.

“I will give Robbie time against New Zealand to get ready for Denmark. He is one of the players in the squad who will really benefit from the New Zealand game before we play the Danes.

“Ciaran is in the same boat. He had to get back with Newcastle before he could back with us but he is playing well for them now and I was impressed with him against West Ham last Saturday."

Speaking of the return of David McGoldrick, McCarthy said “David’s return is the big bonus for all of us. Everyone knows how well he has done for us in the European Championship games he has played this year and he has been brilliant for his club in recent weeks.”

James McCarthy has asked to remain with Crystal Palace for "personal reasons", while Troy Parrott gets his first call-up to join fellow youngster Aaron Connolly in the squad.

Celtic's Lee O'Connor will feature against New Zealand before returning to Stephen Kenny's U21 squad for their tie against Sweden at Tallaght Stadium.

“The benefit of the friendly before the competitive game is that it allows me to try out a few things and give match time to players who need it,” added McCarthy.

“With Lee suspended for the first of the two Under-21 matches, this is the perfect opportunity to have a look at him in the friendly, introduce him to senior international football and see how he gets on. I’ve been impressed with him for the 21s and I know how important he is to them for that Sweden game so this is a win-win for all concerned.

“Likewise, Troy Parrott is in the squad for the first time and he will feature against New Zealand next Thursday. All he has to do is look at how well Aaron Connolly did last time in Georgia and Switzerland to see the opportunity that is there for him now.

“The same will apply for other players who will get a chance against New Zealand and can give me something to think about for the Denmark match. We know that’s the game we have to win and I can’t wait to get into camp now on Sunday and start working with these players again.”

Darren Randolph, Matt Doherty and Glenn Whelan have also all been included in the squad after positive updates on their fitness.

Republic of Ireland squad to play New Zealand and Denmark

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Kieran O’Hara (Burton Albion, on loan from Manchester United), Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth).

Defenders: Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Shane Duffy (Brighton and Hove Albion), Kevin Long (Burnley), John Egan (Sheffield United), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Enda Stevens (Aston Villa), Derrick Williams (Blackburn Rovers), Lee O'Connor (Celtic).

Midfielders: Alan Browne (Preston North End), Josh Cullen (Charlton Athletic, on loan from West Ham United), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), Glenn Whelan (Heart of Midlothian), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), James McClean (Stoke City), Jack Byrne (Shamrock Rovers), Robbie Brady (Burnley)

Forwards: Callum Robinson (Sheffield United), Troy Parrott (Tottenham Hotspur), Aaron Connolly (Brighton and Hove Albion), David McGoldrick (Sheffield United), James Collins (Luton Town), Scott Hogan (Stoke City, on loan from Aston Villa), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Alan Judge (Ipswich Town)

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