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McClean has to alter his game to fit into Trap's system - Andrews

The West Brom midfieler also dismissed suggestions that the Ireland side should play more free-flowing football.

Andrews praised Paul Ince for helping to revitalise his career.
Andrews praised Paul Ince for helping to revitalise his career.

KEITH ANDREWS SAYS new Ireland squad members, such as James McClean, will have to “tweak” their game if they want to be part of Giovanni Trapattoni’s Euro 2012 squad.

He explained that McClean won’t be able to stay on the wing and wait for the ball to come to him, as Trapattoni wants wingers “doubling up on full-backs”.

Speaking on Newstalk’s Off the Ball, Andrews also revealed that Trapattoni often goes back to drills that they did “three or four years ago” whenever new players are introduced to the set-up.

And on the subject of the criticism of the Ireland team’s style of play, he admitted he was “a little bit biased” given Trapattoni’s loyalty to him, and said:

“If we did play this free-flowing expansive football, maybe we wouldn’t be where we are.

“In training, we do it every day, but we also enjoy winning football matches. But certainly, we’d like to get forward a bit more.”

He also recalled his time as a fan during the 1994 World Cup:

“My uncle brought me over to America and we went to see some of the games,” he said. “I had a very good view – I was behind the goal that [Houghton] scored against Italy.

“In 2002, I was a grown-up, and I was able to enjoy a few gargles.”

(Andrews was in attendance during Ireland’s game with Italy and was sitting behind the goal in which Ray Houghton scored his famous winner – INPHO/Billy Stickland)

Having made his Ireland debut aged 28, Andrews admitted he “went missing for a bit,” after he had gone from being part of Wolves’ Premier League squad to playing in League Two with MK Dons during the early stages of his career:

However, he paid tribute to one person in particular, for helping to resurrect his career:

“Paul Ince instilled that belief that was lacking. He came into Wolves as the captain. And our paths crossed a couple of times.

“It was a little bit awkward when I found out he was going to be the manager [at MK Dons].

“But he said he was going to keep me as club captain and he revolved the team around me.

“I never really gave up up hope [of playing in the Premier League], but when you’re playing in League Two against Accrington Stanley, you wonder.”

Returning to more recent times, Andrews commended the Ireland squad’s spirit, while promising fans that Trap’s side won’t be “just there for the craic”.

“Since I’ve been involved, I was welcomed into the squad. There’s only pull-outs for genuine reasons. When we come together, we’re a force to be reckoned with.”

And on a lighter note, Andrews admitted that – like every other new player that comes into the Ireland squad – he was forced to sing a song when he first joined the set-up. “Yeah,” he said. “Mine was Molly Malone.”

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Paul Fennessy

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