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McCarthy rules out McGoldrick and says Connolly is 'ready to start' against Switzerland

David McGoldrick will miss out on Tuesday night.

Ireland manager Mick McCarthy.
Ireland manager Mick McCarthy.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

IRELAND MANAGER MICK McCarthy has confirmed that David McGoldrick will play no part in Tuesday night’s crunch Euro 2020 qualifier against Switzerland.

The Sheffield United striker has been sidelined with a groin strain and there were hopes he may return to fitness in time for the clash in Geneva. 

But McCarthy officially ruled McGoldrick out of contention during an in-house interview with the FAI. 

“I had a text from him after the game just telling us well done and wishing us luck for the next one and also letting me know that he wouldn’t be fit,” said McCarthy.

“I kind of knew that anyway.”

Following his impressive debut off the bench against Georgia, McCarthy believes Aaron Connolly is ready to make his first senior international start against the Swiss. 

“He’s come in the squad, he had his cameo at the end,” said the Irish boss.

“Of course then the question is could I have played him more? Well, yeah I could have started him and he might have played very well from the start in a rough and tumble game.

“He might have scored from the start – all those scenarios but had he started and not played well then that would have been, ‘Well, cinderella debut.’

“The usual stuff, which I know is coming. It doesn’t matter what happens you’ll get picked holes in whatever happens. I think he was great when he came on and he had his chances in a game that was starting to become stretched and wide open.

“But for I think a real bobbly pitch with the other one on his left foot, it just ran away from him. So he’s had a really good cameo appearance and I’ve no doubt he’s ready to start.”

Following yesterday’s goalless draw in Tblisi, Ireland now almost certainly have to beat either Denmark or Switzerland in their final two games to ensure qualification from the group. 

“If we win one of our games we qualify. That’s what I’m led to believe, it’s head to head against them. If we win on Tuesday, we’ve qualified.

“If you’d said that to me on 1 December when the draw was made, I’d have taken it. Course I would. It’s been a good campaign so far. We haven’t scored that many goals, we’ve conceded two.

“We’ve been very disciplined, we’ve been ough and hard to play against and we’re going to have to do all of that again Tuesday night against Switzerland.”

Reflecting on the dull affair against Georgia, McCarthy said: “We could have been better with the ball, I said that afterwards. The players were dissapointed in their performance with the ball, but not overall.

“Some of the work they put in to keep a clean sheet, the dedication they put into it, the hard work they put into it. The effort, the pride they show in that jersey is amazing. And that’s the only reason we kept a clean sheet because we have it away so often.

“They broke on us, got back behind it, we blocked things, we defended corners and free-kicks really well and it’s a game we could have lost but for that steely determination about them which I love about them.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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