Irish manager Mick McCarthy. Ryan Byrne/INPHO

McCarthy says he is 'keeping an eye' on Dundalk's Hoban as he hails Shane Long's form

Robbie Keane was at Oriel Park on Friday night to watch the Lilywhites record goalscorer in action.

IRELAND MANAGER MICK McCarthy has confirmed he is monitoring the form of Dundalk striker Pat Hoban ahead of next month’s training camp in Portugal and the subsequent Euro 2020 qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar in June. 

In his recurring ‘Scouting Report’ feature on the FAI’s website, McCarthy confirmed Robbie Keane was at Oriel Park on Friday night to see Hoban become Dundalk’s record goalscorer in a 2-1 home win against Shamrock Rovers. 

McCarthy’s right-hand man Terry Connor, meanwhile, scouted Luton Town’s James Collins. 

“James keeps on scoring which is great and I know Patrick set a new record for Dundalk on Friday and we’ll be keeping an eye on him in the coming weeks”, said McCarthy.

Elsewhere, the Irish manager hailed the form of Shane Long, who scored his fourth goal in five games in Southampton’s 3-3 draw with Bournemouth on Saturday. The result maintained the Saints’ Premier League status. 

“The Ireland fans used to sing that Shane Long was on fire, well he is now so they can get the song ready again,” said McCarthy. 

I am delighted to see him scoring but just as happy that Shane is back in the Southampton team and playing on a regular basis. It’s his fitness as much as his goalscoring that pleases me because I know he was frustrated when that injury forced him to return home after just a couple of days with us in March.

“I’m not a manager who rates a striker purely on goalscoring. I played Freddie Sears for a long stretch at Ipswich with only a handful of goals but Freddie caused havoc for the opposition defence every time he played.

“Shane is a really effective centre-forward. These goals will just give him a real lift and boost his confidence coming back into our squad and that can only be good news with the training camp in Portugal and two big games on the horizon.”

McCarthy, meanwhile, attended Millwall’s Championship draw with Stoke at the weekend, at which he scouted Shaun Williams and James McClean. Neither Aiden O’Brien nor teenage defender Nathan Collins played a part. 

Goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly watched Preston draw 3-3 with Sheffield Wednesday, with  Alan Browne, Callum Robinson, Sean Maguire and Joe Rafferty the Irish involved. 

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel