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McLoughlin hoping impressive recent form puts him on Kenny's radar

The 25-year-old defender from Cork has been a stand-out performer for Hull City in recent weeks.

Hull City defender Sean McLoughlin hopes his form can catch the eye of Ireland senior manager Stephen Kenny.
Hull City defender Sean McLoughlin hopes his form can catch the eye of Ireland senior manager Stephen Kenny.
Image: Alamy

SEAN MCLOUGHLIN HAS been inspired by former League of Ireland foe Jamie McGrath as he works towards an Irish call-up.

McLoughlin and McGrath, who were Ireland U21 team-mates, found themselves on opposing sides of a fierce rivalry during their respective spells at Cork City and Dundalk.

McGrath broke into the senior international set-up last year after excelling for St Mirren – a club with whom McLoughlin had a loan spell in 2019.

In the meantime, the centre-back from Leeside had to remain patient in his pursuit of regular game-time following his transfer to Hull City.

However, McLoughlin has been impressing in the Championship recently, with his form earning him his club’s Player of the Month award for December.

“It kind of reminds you of how quickly football can change,” he said on the newest episode of The Football Family – a podcast that is exclusively available to The42 members.

“A couple of months ago I wasn’t in the team, and if someone said that I’d be winning Player of the Month you’d kind of laugh at them.

“I’ve said all along that when I’m not in the team I have to stick at it and make sure I’m ready for my opportunity. I think I’ve done that and to be rewarded with Player of the Month is unbelievable. It’s nice to have your performances recognised.”

McLoughlin, who has made 10 consecutive starts, has been a stand-out performer for a Hull side whose prospects of a relegation battle have increased after suffering a third consecutive Championship defeat on Sunday at the hands of Stoke City.

Having been capped at U21 level by Noel King, McLoughlin says it would be “a dream” to receive senior recognition. The 25-year-old also acknowledged that he faces stiff competition as other in-form central defenders such as Darragh Lenihan and Jimmy Dunne also remain on the periphery of Stephen Kenny’s squad.

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“It’s up to me to stay in the [Hull City] team, keep putting in the performances and hopefully be on the radar of Stephen Kenny,” said McLoughlin, who rejected several offers from clubs in the UK during his time at Cork City in order to complete his Business Information Systems degree at University College Cork.

“Jamie McGrath is one that I look at; he was brought in by the manager, he’s been given a chance and he’s shown that he is up to that level. I’m thinking that I can hopefully do something similar maybe and be the next one to break through.

“It’s one of those ones where you try not to focus on it too much, it would probably drive you crazy if that was your aim. You have to kind of focus on the short-term and then hopefully in the long-term, if I’m playing well, those things will start happening.”

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About the author:

Paul Dollery

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