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'I got a text message from Robbie Keane - 'Well that’s Redmond gone''

Mick McCarthy offers updates on the likelihood of Nathan Redmond and Patrick Bamford declaring for Ireland.

Nathan Redmond at a recent England training session.
Nathan Redmond at a recent England training session.
Image: Tim Goode

MICK MCCARTHY WAS on a golf course a fortnight ago when his phone chimed with a message from Robbie Keane. 

“Well, that’s Redmond gone.” 

“Dick?” replied McCarthy, in reference to the Irish kitman most famous for being snapped in a Superman costume after Ireland beat Bosnia to qualify for Euro 2016. 

“No, Nathan, he’s been picked for England!”, was Keane’s response. 

“Well thank fuck it’s not Dick, so long as he’s not going.” 

Southampton winger Redmond is eligible to play for Ireland, and although he has been among English senior squads in the past, he has yet to make the competitive appearance that would tether him there for good. 

McCarthy declared an interest in capping Redmond for Ireland, and although he has since been cut from the England squad he was called into two weeks ago, the Irish manager concedes that the player isn’t likely to switch allegiance. 

“He [Keane] sent me a load of laughing faces back. Can’t do anything about it, can I? So Dick’s delighted.

“Dick is very much still here, it wasn’t him who was called up for England.

“I think Nathan wants to play for England, he’s played for England in the past. That’s the way it is. I do believe he wants to play for England, and good luck to him.” 

Another potential defector to the Irish cause is Leeds striker Patrick Bamford. 

He told McCarthy of his interest in switching allegiance from England, before following it up by stating his desire to focus on finishing the season with Leeds. The season is now over, and McCarthy is still waiting for his phone to ring. 

Mick McCarthy Mick McCarthy speaks to the media. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“I think Patrick has to give me a call if he wants to. That’s the way it runs now, bearing in mind all the conversations I’ve had with him. I left it with him, so I’m waiting for the call.

“The length of time it takes, I might be out of here.” 

One new face in the Irish squad for the upcoming qualifiers with Denmark and Gibraltar is Bohemians goalkeeper James Talbot. 

McCarthy was first alerted to Talbot’s potential by Gerard Nash, a coach at Ipswich Town’s Academy. “He said I hadn’t seen anyone who will get in your squad as an outfield player yet”, said McCarthy, “but the one that stuck out for me was James Talbot.

“So that was good information, bearing in mind the luck we’ve had with other goalkeepers. He was nervous, but it’s natural. He acquitted himself well.”

Ireland have had a spate of injuries to goalkeepers – Mark Travers was forced out of the Algarve training camp with injury, while Keiren Westwood is out with injury too.

Talbot has impressed at Bohs this year as a replacement for the retired Shane Supple, spending a part of last year without a club having been released by Sunderland. Given Bohs’ part-time status he has been working as a postman and recently started working as a delivery driver. 

His unique status was summed by McCarthy telling the media that “I don’t think I’ve had any postmen in before.”

Talbot’s inclusion means further League of Ireland representation in McCarthy’s Irish squad, following Jack Byrne’s last time. The Rovers midfielder didn’t make the cut this time, and McCarthy said that the fact his club are in the thick of important games in the title race had no bearing on his exclusion. 

“Not at all. My not calling him up was not based on that at all. I didn’t call him up because I didn’t want to call him up, and I phoned him up and told him that he wasn’t in the squad.”

Further tactical and formation work with the Denmark game in mind will take place at Abbottstown early next week, with the squad slated to play a friendly with the Irish U21s on Thursday before taking Friday and Saturday off. 

The training camp was used partly as a bonding exercise, with McCarthy emphasising the importance and value of a good atmosphere around the camp.

I think the lads aren’t that bothered about going out as much we were, that’s for sure. The mobile phones, maybe that’s curbed the enthusiasm for going out. They’ve got to be able to go out. They are young men, they’ve got to be able to go and enjoy themselves, in my view.

“I give it my blessing, as I believe it helps wherever you are. But you start it on the training ground. Andy Liddell and the warm-ups he arranges, the training games – the banter between the players and the staff.

“You do it on a daily basis, there’s no one magic formula that creates a wonderful environment. But the better the environment, the more you want to come in. I used to love coming in, it was great.

“Big Jack was great – there was always a bit of fun with him – and if I can ever create that atmosphere, it’s great.

“It helps people to play well.”

- Originally published at 00.05 

 

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