James McClean is hoping that intensive rehab work he is undertaking in Dubai will help speed up his recovery from a knee injury in time to make him available for Ireland’s Euro 2020 play-off game against Slovakia on March 26.
Mick McCarthy says Shane Long is “back where we need him to be” to stake a claim for a place on the plane to Slovakia, while the manager is prepared to give Ciaran Clark and James McClean as long as he can to see if they are able to recover from injury in time for Ireland’s Euro 2020 play-off on March 26.
McClean is enjoying a resurgence of form under Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill at Stoke, with talk of a possible all-Ireland Euros qualifier so far confined to some good-natured joshing.
Picture the young James McClean when he first wore a Sunderland jersey. Memories stir of a fearless winger slaloming down the touchline. It seemed, even then, to be almost old-fashioned in a league that was no longer so in thrall to the hustle and bustle of years gone by.
Stephen Kenny has said that he is delighted for Troy Parrott that the 17-year-old Spurs player has received his first senior Ireland call-up even though it means the U21 manager will be without his star striker for next Thursday’s Euro 2021 qualifier away to Armenia.
The racist chanting from Bulgarian fans directed at some England soccer players at the recent European championship qualifier match in Sofia was roundly criticised by the English FA and by Fifa, the world governing body of football.
Goals change games we know but, listening to Scott Hogan, it’s clear he feels his winner for Championship basement side Stoke City against high-flying Swansea City last Saturday, could be a personal game-changer of an altogether different magnitude.
Debut U21 call-ups for Troy Parrott, Michael Obafemi and Johnathan Afolabi have reinforced the sense of a rich vein of attacking talent bubbling up in Irish football, something further underlined in Stephen Kenny’s latest squad announcement by a decision to make a distinction on paper between ‘central midfielders’ and ‘attacking midfielder
Martin O’Neill says he understands what James McClean is going through, having himself experienced hostility from the crowd at Windsor Park when, as a young Catholic during the Troubles, he first broke into the Northern Ireland team in the early 70s.