McCarthy worried about lack of playing time for important players ahead of Switzerland qualifier

The Ireland boss says he may delay finalising his squad for the meeting with Switzerland at the Aviva Stadium.

Mick McCarthy and his assistant Terry Connor were at last weekend's All-Ireland hurling final.
Mick McCarthy and his assistant Terry Connor were at last weekend's All-Ireland hurling final.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND manager Mick McCarthy will consider putting off naming his final squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifier until late next week. 

The Boys in Green, currently top of Group D after three wins and a draw, face Switzerland at the Aviva Stadium on 5 September, before a friendly against Bulgaria five days later. 

McCarthy announced a provisional 40-man panel last week, which must be whittled down to 23. 

However, the 60-year-old has expressed some worry about the lack of game time players such as Jeff Hendrick are getting — Burnley’s midfielder has been an unused substitute in their opening two Premier League matches. 

Arsenal v Burnley - Premier League - Emirates Stadium Hendrick has yet to play for Burnley this season. Source: EMPICS Sport

“Our main concern at the moment is still about players getting games but Darren Randolph and Keiren Westwood are playing well, the four Sheffield United players are all starting as is Scott Hogan while Robbie Brady is still recovering from his rib injury,” McCarthy told the

I’ll probably see where we are after the League Cup games next week before making a final decision on the squad for Switzerland and after that, we can always add players from the provisional squad for the Bulgaria game.

“Jeff needs to get game time into his legs so it was great he played in the game on Wednesday.

“I have no doubts about Jeff’s ability or his fitness, he has covered so much ground for us in this European Championship already as the stats prove, but like all our players, he needs to play.

“He might feature against Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday and Jeff should be involved in the League Cup game at home to Sunderland next Wednesday night which we will have scouted. I might just delay naming the final squad until after those League Cup games on Tuesday and Wednesday night to see how our players get on.”

Josh Cullen has caught McCarthy’s eye on loan at Charlton Athletic from West Ham, while he also praised another midfielder, Harry Arter, for his performances with Fulham. 

Jack Byrne of Shamrock Rovers got a mention too after his brace at the RSC on Monday night.

Josh was brilliant for Charlton,” added McCarthy.

“He has really taken to the Championship since he went back to Charlton on loan from West Ham and he was busy throughout Wednesday night’s game, playing in their diamond and getting forward at every opportunity. I was really impressed with him.

What are they
really like?

Rare insights on sport's biggest names from the writers who know them best. Listen to Behind the Lines podcast.

Become a Member

“Harry was really good against Millwall and I am going to have a look at him myself on Saturday when Fulham are at home to Forest while Jack’s two goals at Waterford on Monday were very special.”

Charlton Athletic v Nottingham Forest - Sky Bet Championship - The Valley Josh Cullen in action for Charlton Athletic against Nottingham Forest during the week. Source: John Walton

Bright prospect Troy Parrott was named in the initial 40-man squad, but McCarthy suggested at the time that the teenager would be more likely to feature for Stephen Kenny’s U21s along with fellow youngsters Michael Obafemi (Southampton) and Nathan Collins (Stoke City). 

Parrott bagged two goals for Tottenham’s U23s in their win over Manchester City a week ago, but was later substituted in that game due to an injury and the Dubliner has not made their squad for today’s PL2 game against Derby County. 

“Troy got a dead leg in that match and we are in touch with the medical team at Spurs to see how he is doing,” said McCarthy. “He is still a doubt for their U23 match against Derby at Enfield on Friday afternoon [12pm] but Terry Connor is going to the game.”

About the author:

Ben Blake

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel