Ryan Byrne/INPHO File photo of James McCarthy.
# left out
Mick McCarthy explains absences of James McCarthy and Dan Crowley from latest squad
The Irish boss has seen very little of either player this season.

MICK MCCARTHY TODAY named his squad for a forthcoming training camp in Portugal along with the Euro 2020 qualifiers with Denmark and Gibraltar, with Everton’s James McCarthy again absent. 

The midfielder has been available since January having recuperated from a broken leg, but has made just one senior appearance since: as a substitute in Everton’s 4-0 win against Manchester United. 

The Irish manager today confirmed to The42 that he has met with his namesake, but has decided to omit him from the squad.

“I had a chat with James”, said McCarthy, “he wants to sort his own stuff out this year and I decided it would be better not to include him in the camp.” 

“Alan Browne, Conor Hourihane, Glenn [Whelan] and Jeff Hendrick are already in the squad and I’m not likely to leave any of them out.

“With the number of games he’s played he is unlikely to be ahead of any of them, so I thought it would be as well to leave him out until he sorts his stuff out and gets back playing.” 

McCarthy had hoped the midfielder would go out on loan in January to work his way back to match fitness, but isn’t encouraging him to leave Everton in the summer. 

“I encouraged him to go on loan in January, but I won’t encourage him to leave Everton.

“He might want to stay and get in the team. That’s for him and his manager to decide. If the manager says ‘Look, you’re not going to be in my team’ then I think James has a decision to make. Not me.” 

Mick McCarthy Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Mick McCarthy at today's launch of the FAI AGM and festival of football in Trim. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

Also absent from the squad is highly-rated midfielder Dan Crowley, once of Arsenal and now playing with Dutch side Willem II. 

It had been expected that Crowley would start Sunday’s Dutch Cup final against Ajax, with McCarthy going to the game anticipating as much. Crowley started on the bench, however, only making his appearance as a 62nd-minute substitute. 

With McCarthy scheduled to leave the game early, he consequently saw little of Crowley in action. 

There was a car waiting for me and I didn’t particularly want to get caught up with the Ajax and Willem II fans after the game. I saw him for 10 or 15 minutes, not that I saw too much of him as Ajax were 2-0 up and scored another two.

“So I haven’t seen him, and I’ve never signed anyone watching a video.

“I’d have only put him in the squad with if I thought he was better than the lads that are already in, and I’ve not seen him.” 

One player he has seen is Mark Travers, who made a hugely impressive senior debut for Bournemouth against Tottenham on Saturday. 

The teenager, who was included in McCarthy’s squad for the last camp, made a series of impressive saves and picked up the Man of the Match gong.

“[Sky Sports reporter] Alan McInally rang me to ask about him, and I said ‘Different class’ so I was glad I was right.

“And he was better than that: he was excellent. He is a really lovely young man, his whole demeanour when he was with us in the squad, everyone was impressed by him.” 

Travers is not the only of McCarthy’s players to have caught the eye in England of late: Shane Long has four goals in his last six games; John Egan, David McGoldrick, Enda Stevens, and Scott Hogan have been promoted with Sheffield United; Darren Randolph was in the Championship Team of the Year; Matt Doherty and Seamus Coleman have been among their sides’ best players in recent months in the Premier League’s upper echelons. 

When he first returned to the Irish job, McCarthy consistently shot down questions implying he was choosing from a lower standard of player than during his previous stint, and he elaborated on that theme today. 

“I think you underestimate the strength of the Championship. If you’re picking them from the top of the Championship, you might as well be picking from the bottom of the Premier League in my view.

“The top six in the Championship are probably going to be equal to the bottom six in the Premier League.

“We’d love to be having them from the top teams, Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal.

“That’s not happened for a number of years so that doesn’t bother me. I accept where they come from and try and get the best out of them.

“And they were brilliant in the last two games.” 

Ireland will train in Portugal for a week from 21 May before returning to Dublin to continue preparations for games against Denmark in Copenhagen and Gibraltar in Dublin. 

Republic of Ireland Squad
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Kieran O’Hara (Manchester United), Mark Travers (Bournemouth)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Kevin Long (Burnley), John Egan (Sheffield United), Richard Keogh (Derby County), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Greg Cunningham (Cardiff City)
Midfielders: Alan Browne (Preston North End), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Harry Arter (Cardiff City*), Josh Cullen (Charlton Athletic*), Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa), Jack Byrne (Shamrock Rovers), James McClean (Stoke City), Alan Judge (Ipswich Town), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth), Robbie Brady (Burnley), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City)
Forwards: David McGoldrick (Sheffield United), Shane Long (Southampton), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Scott Hogan (Sheffield United*), James Collins (Luton Town), Aiden O’Brien (Millwall), Callum Robinson (Preston North End)

*Indicates player is on loan

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