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McCarthy confirms Portsmouth winger's intention to declare for Ireland

Pompey recently spent an undisclosed fee to sign Marcus Harness on a three-year deal from Burton Albion.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND manager Mick McCarthy will monitor the progress of Marcus Harness after the winger completed a move from Burton Albion to fellow League One club Portsmouth for an undisclosed fee last week.

Manchester City v Burton Albion - Carabao Cup - Semi Final - First Leg - Etihad Stadium Marcus Harness playing for Burton Albion against Manchester City during last season's Carabao Cup semi-final first leg. Source: PA Archive/PA Images

Harness, who signed a three-year deal at Fratton Park, was born in Coventry but is eligible to represent Ireland, which McCarthy says he’s keen to do.

The 23-year-old had been on the books at Burton Albion since 2013. In 39 appearances for the club in all competitions last season, he contributed six goals and seven assists. 

“Terry Connor and myself both saw Marcus play with Burton last season and we will have him watched again when the season kicks off next weekend and see how he gets on,” McCarthy told the FAI’s official website.

“He has told us he wants to play for Ireland and we will follow through on that now and help him sort the paperwork from his side.”

Source: Burton Albion/YouTube

McCarthy was pleased to see Troy Parrott in action for Tottenham Hotspur in Sunday’s pre-season friendly against Juventus. The 17-year-old attacker got his first taste of senior action for Spurs in their 3-2 victory against the Serie A giants.

“We know all about Troy and Robbie Keane has been keeping in contact with Spurs about his fitness and his progress,” said the Ireland boss. “He was very unlucky with injuries at the start of the year and was very disappointed to miss the U17 European Championships with Colin O’Brien’s side.

“But he is back now and the fact that Spurs kept him out of Tom Mohan’s squad for the U19 Euros indicated to me that they were going to use him in pre-season.

“Troy got a start on Sunday against a top Italian side which was great for him. He is young and we have to remember that but this is good news for the player and for Ireland.”

Singapore Soccer Champions Cup Following his goal against Juventus, Erik Lamela is embraced by Tottenham team-mate Troy Parrott. Source: Danial Hakim

McCarthy added that he is also keeping tabs on midfielders James McCarthy and Dan Crowley. McCarthy is being linked with a move from Everton to Crystal Palace, while Crowley has joined Birmingham City following a spell in the Netherlands with Willem II.

He said: “I’ve chatted with James and he knows my view that he needs games on a regular basis. He is a hugely important player for us but I need to see him play week in and week out now that he is fit again and he understands that.

“Danny’s move has been monitored as well. I did go to see him in the Dutch Cup final when he only came on as a late substitute but it is a bit easier to get to Birmingham matches! He is one of the players we will observe closely when the season kicks off.”

The Ireland manager, who will name his squad early next month for September’s games against Switzerland and Bulgaria, will attend the first leg of Dundalk’s Champions League second round qualifier against Qarabag at Oriel Park tomorrow night.

Mick McCarthy Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

“It’s been a great week for Irish football,” he said. “Tom Mohan’s team have been brilliant out in Armenia at the European U19 Championships and I wish them well against Portugal on Wednesday.

“I’m going to be in Dundalk that night as they continue to fly the flag in the Champions League and we will have someone at the Shamrock Rovers game against Apollon Limassol on Thursday night as well after their impressive win against Brann.” 

Ireland will aim to tighten their grip on top spot in Group D when they resume their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign against Switzerland at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday, 5 September. McCarthy’s side will play a friendly against Bulgaria on Tuesday, 10 September at the same venue.

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Paul Dollery

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