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Dublin: 5 °C Tuesday 26 March, 2019
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Irish Eye: Rs downed by the James McClean Show

The Derry winger was back to his best at the Stadium of Light over the weekend.

McClean celebrates scoring at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
McClean celebrates scoring at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Image: Steve Drew/EMPICS Sport

EVERY MONDAY, WE scan the passports, check the family trees and cross-reference with the “granny rule” to keep you informed about the ups and downs of all the Irish (and Irish-eligible) footballers in England and Scotland. Think of us as the Tardelli to your Trap, if you will…

Premier League

James McClean (Sunderland 3-1 QPR)

The Euro 2012 hopeful’s performance in the win over QPR at the Stadium of Light was so good, it warranted singling out by the MOTD panel. Alan Shearer, who has obviously been doing a little research, showed off a surprising amount of knowledge (i.e. any) while singing the Sunderland winger’s praises.

McClean showed persistence to score the first then set up Niklas Bendtner’s header with a super cross before having a hand in the Black Cats’ third.

Mackems manager Martin O’Neill told the Sunderland Echo: “He was magnificent – constantly at their defence and if anything, he’s getting more confident.

“It’s interesting because you think that with the energy he puts into the game – his efforts to get back and help defensively – he would run out of steam, but he keeps going.”

We repeat… GET. HIM. ON. THE. PLANE.


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Shay Given (Arsenal 3-0 Aston Villa)

Ireland’s No1 had a day to forget at the Emirates on Saturday. The Lifford native conceded three goals and will be disappointed with himself for letting Kieran Gibbs’ strike past him for the first.

Npower Championship

Jeff Hendrick (Derby County 3-2 Crystal Palace)

U21 international Jeff Hendrick struck only his third goal in 36 appearances for the Rams this season in their 3-2 win over Crystal Palace. The Dubliner capped a man-of-the-match performance by notching just before the half-hour mark with a sweetly-struck volley from the edge of the box.

Ian Harte (Reading 3-1 Blackpool)

The Royals full-back scored one and made another as his side kept up their bid for automatic promotion back to the Premier League with a win over Blackpool. Harte followed up to fire home after Jobi McAnuff had hit the crossbar twice before crossing for Mikele Leigertwood to head past Matt Gilks.

Sean Murray (Watford 2-1 Ipswich)

Watford midfielder Sean Murray scored after 71 minutes to help the Hornets come back from a goal down and claim all three points at Vicarage Road. The 19-year-old has made his mark on Sean Dyche’s side since the new year and that was his fifth goal in seven games.

Npower League One

Martin Rowlands (Colchester 1-1 Carlisle)

Colchester had to settle for a draw with promotion-chasing Carlisle on Saturday and former Ireland international Rowlands was on target for the home side. The midfielder latched onto Steven Gillespie’s through ball and stroked home from close range on 51 minutes.

Npower League Two

Billy Clarke (Crawley 3-0 Rotherham)

Cork-born striker Billy Clarke returned to Crawley’s line-up and scored the opener in a 3-0 win over managerless Rotherham by steering home a cross from team-mate Gary Alexander.

Glenn Hoddle knows who should manage England at the European Championships…

‘Racism isn’t the issue but trash talking needs to end’ – Paraic Duffy

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Ben Blake

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