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McCarthy impressed by Sheffield United's new Irish strike partnership

The Ireland manager was at Dean Court on Saturday, while he will be hoping to catch James Collins and Alan Judge at Kenilworth Road tonight.

McGoldrick and Robinson in action against Bournemouth on Saturday.
McGoldrick and Robinson in action against Bournemouth on Saturday.
Image: Mark Kerton

WITH FOUR CURRENT Republic of Ireland internationals in their starting line-up last weekend, Premier League new boys Sheffield United are a club we’ll all be keeping an eye out for this season. 

International manager Mick McCarthy was in attendance at Dean Court on Saturday as John Egan, Enda Stevens, David McGoldrick and summer signing Callum Robinson were all named in the visiting team to face Bournemouth. 

McGoldrick and Robinson formed a new strike partnership, and the Ireland boss was happy with what he saw from both players during the 1-1 draw. 

“I always thought Chris Wilder would stick with the players who got him promotion so I expected to see John Egan, Enda Stevens and David McGoldrick start,” McCarthy told the FAI.

“David was partnered by new signing Callum up front and it was interesting to see them work together as a pair. I thought they were impressive together.”

Republic of Ireland Media Activity - FAI National Training Centre The Ireland boss says he's looking forward to seeing James McCarthy back in the international fold. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan

Yesterday, McCarthy spent the afternoon keeping tabs on his namesake at Selhurst Park. James McCarthy featured for Crystal Palace in an U23s game against Birmingham City, and the midfielder could soon be set for a return to the Ireland squad after enduring a torrid couple of years at Everton. 

“James has had a terrible time with injury so getting game time now is vital for him,” McCarthy said. “What was important was that he played. I know one of the reasons James wanted to move from Everton was to get more football after playing so little last season following his injury.

These are only baby steps for him but he is back now and looking forward to a new start with Palace. I sat beside Roy Hodgson for the game and I know from talking to Roy just how happy he is to have signed James for Palace.

“Roy is really looking forward to working with James at Palace and so am I with Ireland. I’ve kept in touch with James over the summer and look forward to seeing him back in the international squad.

“The fact that I got to see Stephen Henderson and young Kian Flanagan play as well was a bonus. I know Wayne, Stephen’s uncle, well so it was good to get a look at him while Kian has played for us at underage level and is only 20 later this month.”

Luton Town v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship - Kenilworth Road Luton Town's James Collins (left). Source: Darren Staples

McCarthy is in Salthill this Friday to name his latest squad ahead of the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifier against Switzerland on 5 September, but, before that, he has made the trip to Kenilworth Road to catch Luton Town face Ipswich Town in the Carabao Cup this evening. 

James Collins could be on show for Luton, while Alan Judge may feature for Ipswich, having recently returned to action after a broken wrist suffered during Ireland’s 1-1 draw with Denmark back in June. 

“We’ve had James watched a couple of times already this season and I am looking forward to seeing him for myself,” added McCarthy.

“I also hope Alan plays for Ipswich. He was so good for us when he went on in the Denmark game and was really unlucky to break his wrist in the final move of the game. Alan had a great chance of starting against Gibraltar only for that injury so I’m delighted he is fit again.”

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Ben Blake

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