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Dundalk defender Massey.
Dundalk defender Massey.

Stuey Byrne thinks an LOI defender could solve Ireland's problems at left full-back

The pundit has called for Dane Massey to receive international recognition.
Mar 31st 2015, 6:30 AM 6,352 13

SOCCER REPUBLIC ANALYST Stuey Byrne feels Ireland could do worse than to call up Dundalk defender Dane Massey.

With Stephen Ward not 100% match fit, Robbie Brady began at left full-back for Sunday’s Euro 2016 qualifier at home to Poland, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

The Hull City winger was at fault for Sławomir Peszko’s first half goal but came into the game more in the second half and proved a threat going forward.

Speaking on Monday night’s episode of the hightlights programme, Byrne pointed to the lack of options in the position and stated that Lilywhites full-back Massey is worth Martin O’Neill’s consideration.

“That left back position has been an issue for awhile now and there was a big deal being made out of Ward’s injury and the fact that he wouldn’t make the game,” Byrne said.

Looking at Ward as a left full-back, if that is the bar that has been set it got me thinking and there isn’t that many out-and-out specialist left fulls who are really good defenders.

“The player that came into my head was Dane Massey. For this particular game, it wasn’t the right week but considering that we have had issues in this position before, he would be worth a look in the squad for a friendly coming up.”

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26-year-old Dubliner Massey, who joined the Louth club from Bray Wanderers in 2012, has been excellent for the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division champions but the Ireland manager has yet to select a League of Ireland player and that is unlikely to change any time soon.

The closest O’Neill came was drafting in Brian Lenihan last October — three months after he had joined Hull City from Cork City.

What do you think about Byrne’s suggestion? 

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