Dublin: 17°C Tuesday 21 September 2021

'My managers are actually coming out to watch on Thursday'

Conor Masterson is hoping to impress his QPR coaches as he prepares to represent Ireland against Italy.

Conor Masterson speaks at today's press conference.
Conor Masterson speaks at today's press conference.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

CONOR MASTERSON HAS enjoyed a fine start to life under Ireland U21 boss Stephen Kenny.

Excluding the Brazil match, Masterson has been a regular part of a backline that has conceded just twice in seven games.

Thursday, however, will surely be Ireland’s biggest test yet against an Italian team whose players have no shortage of senior experience, with Everton’s Moise Kean, Wolves’ Patrick Cutrone and Inter’s Alessandro Bastoni among those who could feature.

“They’re obviously a top team in football, so we’re really looking forward to it. 

“Personally, I think it’s one of my biggest games and [it's the case with] most of the lads on the team. This is what we want — full houses. And we just want to show the fans what we can do.

“I think [a win] would be massive. But we believe in ourselves and you see it by the way we’re playing. Against Sweden, we were the underdogs going into that game, but we didn’t think that. We believed in ourselves, went out there and showed everyone in this group and Sweden what we can do.

“We have the same belief going into Italy now. We believe we’re going to beat them.”

It could be an important game as far as Masterson is concerned, not just for his Ireland prospects, but also with regard to his club career.

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

After leaving Liverpool in the summer, he had a couple of options and ultimately opted to join QPR.

“I’ve really enjoyed QPR. I’ve been on the bench I think four or five times now. Hopefully my chance will come. My managers are actually coming out to watch on Thursday. So hopefully the game goes well for me and when I get back to QPR, I’ll be knocking on the door and getting a chance.

I’m only young as well. In my position, you need experience. Learning from the players in front of you, it’s valuable. I’m learning all the time and I think I’ve really improved in the last year or two defensively and [in terms of] playing out from the back, everything really. Every aspect of my game. So yeah, I think it’s going to stand to me.”

With the side experiencing a decent start to the season, as they currently sit ninth in the Championship, Masterson has had to be patient as he waits to make his debut.

Boss Mark Warburton convinced him to join the club in the summer and Masterson is hoping to repay that faith imminently.

“What really stood out was the manager — what his ambitions were and how he wanted to develop the team. [He said] ‘I like the way you play, I like your style of football,’ and I just bought into it.

I really enjoyed it, met the players, and it’s a good group of players. As you can see, we’re doing well at the moment and hopefully that carries on.

“[Liverpool are] an unbelievable club. The team, you can see how they’re doing, they just won the Champions League. But for me, where I am in my career, I needed to go out and play first-team football. Obviously, it was upsetting leaving Liverpool, but for my career, it was the best way to join QPR and hopefully express myself.”

Eoin Toolan and Murray Kinsella join Gavan Casey to give an in-depth breakdown of where Ireland’s play stacks up against the contenders in Japan, and look into why New Zealand and England are primed for World Cup success.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel