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.
Much as he was satisfied with the ample positives of Ireland’s 3-1 win against New Zealand, arguably the biggest lesson Mick McCarthy will take from that sideshow game into Monday’s crunch encounter with Denmark is that some of the blemishes of Thursday’s performance could, if not eliminated, prove fatal against Christian Eriksen and company.
Well, yes, and here we go again… But before we get into ‘Dane-ja vu’ or even ‘Oh, Dane-ger here’ territory, a word of two about the headlines that got away on account of Troy Parrott being so inconsiderate towards us hacks as to refrain from crowning his senior debut, at the ridiculously tender age of 17, with the goal or two or even three which we were all demanding.
While Mick McCarthy is always prepared to cut a little slack for a couple of his more experienced and established names, the manager has never sought to minimise the weight he attaches to the general requirement that, in order to play for their country, his players really need to be playing for their clubs.
It’s Thursday afternoon when I reach him on the phone, and Sean Maguire, just “chilling out” on a last day of rest before starting to climb the Championship mountain with Preston North End again, is reflecting on how Deepdale is no longer such a deep shade of green.
Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has said teenager Troy Parrott is a "shoo-in" for a call up to the senior squad if he remains involved with the Tottenham first-team at the start of the season.
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.