Mick McCarthy confirmed potential Ireland recruit Patrick Bamford has agreed to meet him in the coming weeks.
“We’ve exchanged text messages and Patrick is keen to meet up in the coming weeks,” McCarthy last night explained of a player who played football for Ireland at U18 level through his maternal grandparents. Bamford has scored six times for Leeds this season.
“It is just a matter of him finding a date that works — I’ll happily meet him whenever he can do it,” added McCarthy.
Daniel Crowley is another prospect McCarthy has his eye on. The former Arsenal trainee is currently excelling in the Netherlands.
“Our international department are sorting Danny’s paperwork,” he revealed. “Noel King brought him to my attention when I got the job and will have a look at Danny with Willem ll before I go to see him for myself when he plays against Ajax in the Dutch Cup Final in Rotterdam on May 5.”
McCarthy’s search for a solution to Ireland’s goalscoring problem also brought him to Kenilworth Road on Saturday and it proved a fruitful trip as the Ireland manager saw James Collins bag his 20th goal of the season as League One leaders Luton Town beat Rochdale 2-0. On Thursday, McCarthy will name his squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia later this month and on Saturday he strongly hinted that Collins will be getting his first senior call-up at the age of 28.
“James has a real chance of seeing his name in my first squad,” McCarthy told FAI.ie. “He’s my type of player, big and aggressive and wholly committed to the cause.”
In Saturday’s Championship action, Conor Hourihane scored twice as a rampant Aston Villa crushed Derby 4-0 to boost their play-off prospects. Paying tribute to Hourihane, Villa boss Dean Smith said: “I was pleased for him today. I played him a bit higher and he hunted the ball. He’s shown character to come through a tough spell and he’s certainly got my backing.”
Shaun Williams was also on the mark but his goal could stop Millwall from losing 3-1 at home to Norwich.
McCarthy’s assistant Terry Connor was at Deepdale to run the rule over Preston’s Alan Browne and Sean Maguire as well as Bristol City’s Callum O’Dowda in a game that ended 1-1.
“I spoke to Terry and he assured me Callum O’Dowda’s withdrawal in the 53rd minute was tactical,” McCarthy said. “Like me at Millwall last week, Terry was impressed by Sean and Alan. Sean is a natural goalscorer.”
In League Two, Pádraig Amond’s 21st of the season helped Newport to a 2-0 win over Carlisle, Jay O’Shea converted a penalty in Bury’s 3-0 win over Macclesfield, John-Joe O’Toole netted in Northampton’s 2-0 win at Crewe, while Canice Carroll was on the mark as Swindon beat Colchester United 3-0.