Mick McCarthy will be hoping to get a better look at Danny Crowley tomorrow night than his first attempt at scouting the creative midfielder.
The Ireland manager is considering Birmingham City’s new recruit for inclusion in his squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifier against Switzerland and wants to check him out in the flesh.
McCarthy’s tried to get a close view of Crowley in May when he attended the Dutch Cup final. Unfortunately, a change in approach by the Willem manager for the meeting with Ajax meant the subject of his trip to Rotterdam was left out for the first time in the season.
The Coventry-born talent has since moved back home to the Championship, making his debut as a starter in Birmingham’s 1-0 victory over Brentford on Saturday.
Crowley, who turned 22 on the day of the game, has represented both Ireland and England at youth level but last year fully declared for the Boys in Green. He has grandparents from Waterford, Cork and Mayo.
McCarthy’s assistant Terry Connor was at St Andrew’s to observe Crowley’s 72 minutes on the pitch. The manager himself will attend Tuesday’s League Cup tie against Portsmouth.
“Terry was encouraged by what he saw of Danny,” said McCarthy. “He played as the left-sided offensive midfielder in a 4-5-1 formation
“The game proved again that Danny has that forward-thinking mentality; he can see a pass and he can execute it.
“It’s a good start for him in the Championship but there’s a long season ahead for everyone in that League as I well know.
“Hopefully, I’ll get to see him play against Portsmouth, depending on what team Birmingham pick for the game."
McCarthy will also be eager to see Portsmouth’s Irish in action. English-born Marcus Harness recently pledged his allegiance to Ireland.
“Marcus (Harness) and Ronan Curtis both started for Pompey at Shrewsbury on Saturday and I’d like to watch both of them too.”
Meanwhile, McCarthy has indicated that teenage defender Nathan Collins could be fast-tracked into his squad. Ireland have a friendly against Bulgaria four days after meeting the Swiss on 5 September.
The centre-back, still aged just 18, started for Stoke City in their Championship opener against QPR on Saturday. It followed the three appearances made by the Dubliner in the final month of last season.
Despite being well-stocked in that department, McCarthy will keep tabs on a player who has yet to even earn an Ireland U21 cap.
“We’ll monitor Nathan for Stoke at Charlton Athletic on Saturday,” he vowed.
“We know all about Nathan – we wanted to sign him for Ipswich Town when he trained with us at Carton House a couple of summers ago – and we had him in our thoughts for the training camp in Portugal at the end of last season.
“Nathan took his first-team chance with Stoke at the end of last season and he is building on that now.
“He’s a big centre-back who is comfortable on the ball and he is making real progress. That’s great to see.”