McGoldrick keen to attack new campaign under Kenny

David McGoldrick says a more attacking approach from the Republic of Ireland under Stephen Kenny would be music to his ears.
McGoldrick keen to attack new campaign under Kenny
5 September 2019; David McGoldrick of Republic of Ireland celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the UEFA EURO2020 Qualifier Group D match between Republic of Ireland and Switzerland at Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

David McGoldrick says a more attacking approach from the Republic of Ireland under Stephen Kenny would be music to his ears.

Goals have never been a common commodity for Ireland. They managed only seven across eight Euro 2020 qualifiers under Mick McCarthy, relying on a stingy defence to keep them interested in Group D where they ultimately finished third.

McGoldrick spent over five seasons under McCarthy at Ipswich Town and it was his old gaffer at Portman Road who brought him back in from the cold on the international front to such effect that he has this week been named Ireland's senior men's player of the year.

He appreciates that, all of it, but it doesn't stop him feeling a sense of anticipation at the prospect of playing with a more attacking bent under Kenny who, Covid permitting, faces into a busy autumn period between Nations League appointments and a Euro playoff.

“I don't think we've scored lots of goals through the campaigns but we definitely have the talent to do that. It's about finding the right format for it. If we went gung-ho and started bombing loads of players followed then with the quality we play against we would be picked off.

“We have to be solid and pick a goal here and there. You cant be free-styling out there but I'm looking forward to seeing the players coming up. Everyone is hungry to be selected for that first squad. Different ideas from the manager, we could go a long way.”

McGoldrick has experienced his own difficulties in front of goal despite frequently impressive displays for club and country. His international duck was broken last September against Switzerland and his first and second Premier League goals only arrived last month against Chelsea.

He has already spoken with Kenny and there seems to be a mutual respect there between the rookie international boss and the veteran striker-cum-playmaker who has been a regular for Chris Wilder's Sheffield United in the Premier League.

The 32-year old has clearly been busy on the phone in recent months as he has been in touch with one of those exciting youngsters, namely Troy Parrott, who made his senior international debut last year and has now joined Millwall on a season-long loan.

It was Stern John who assumed something of a mentoring role with the young McGoldrick at Southampton back in the day. The latter could well complement his impact on the park with some avuncular advice off it for the likes of Parrott, Aaron Connolly, Adam Idah and Michael Obafemi.

“Two sides to it,” said McGoldrick who last month signed a new two-year deal with the Blades. “Encouragement by training and watching how I train. They probably play differently to me but they might be able to learn something as well.

“I spent a bit of time with Troy off the pitch and when I spoke to him he has really taken it in. I've had a few messages with him since Covid and he's a good lad. I'm sure he will listen to me and if I can show or tell them I will, but the main thing is on the training pitch. If they can learn from me, then I'm all for it.”

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