Having left his seat in Tallaght just before the winning strike, the Ireland manager says he had already seen enough of the midfielder’s performance to give him “plenty to think about” as he ponders his squad for the Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia.
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.
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.
Mick McCarthy is considering delaying a decision on the make-up of his final squad for the Euro 2020 qualifier against Switzerland and the friendly against Bulgaria, amid concerns about the impact of injuries and the amount of game-time some of those in contention are getting with their clubs.
Mick McCarthy is considering delaying a decision on the make-up of his final squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifier against Switzerland and the friendly against Bulgaria, amid concerns about the impact of injuries and the amount of game-time some of those in contention are getting with their clubs.
Mick and Seamus had done their bit to temper the giddiness. Coach and captain had held up Ireland’s struggles against Gibraltar two months ago as reason for caution ahead of this latest European qualifier, but there was always the sense that the audience were nodding heads out of respect rather than agreement.
If there can be such a thing as an upside for Mick McCarthy in seeing four players succumb to friendly fire on the training pitch — Shane Long having now followed Alan Browne, Mark Travers and Luca Connell out of the squad since preparations for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar began on the Algarve — it’s that none would have been likely to start in Copenhagen on Friday night.
IIreland might have back-to-back Euro qualifiers looming next month but Mick McCarthy doesn’t think it’s a gamble that, in advance of those big games away to Denmark and home to Gibraltar, his Irish contingent at Sheffield United are heading off to Las Vegas to celebrate the club’s promotion to the Premier League.
Scott Hogan has seen enough clean slates to roof a housing estate but the Aston Villa striker is hopeful of a few more as he looks to kickstart a career that has been starved of momentum at club level and with the Republic of Ireland.
Assuming he comes through tonight’s game away to Sligo Rovers unscathed, Shamrock Rovers hotshot Graham Burke is set to feature in the Irish team which will take on a Celtic XI in Scott Brown’s testimonial game at Parkhead tomorrow (kick-off 2pm).
On the eve of Ireland’s friendly defeat in Turkey last Friday, Seamus Coleman conceded that, as the team captain — and a Premier League player to boot — the focus of attention would inevitably be on his welcome in a green shirt after a year out through injury.