Jack Byrne (file pic). Donall Farmer/INPHO
harsh words

Young Irish midfielder Jack Byrne criticised by Oldham boss

Meanwhile, striker Eoin Doyle’s future at the club is also clouded with uncertainty.

IRISH MIDFIELDER JACK Byrne has been criticised as his stint at League One side Oldham looks set to come to an end.

The Dubliner had a promising start to his career. After beginning life in England at Man City’s academy, the former St Kevin’s Boys player earned rave reviews playing on loan in the Dutch league with SC Cambuur, as a string of eye-catching performances led to him being invited to train with the Ireland senior squad.

However, since then, Byrne’s career has not gone as well as he would have liked. After an unsuccessful loan spell at Blackburn last season, he joined Wigan from City on a permanent deal back in January 2017.

The 21-year-old again struggled for game time with the Latics, but has since had what seemed to be an encouraging loan period with Oldham — the former Ireland U21 international has registered four goals in 20 League One appearances.

Yet with the player set to return to his parent club in January and possibly make a move elsewhere, Oldham’s manager Richie Wellens has aimed an apparent parting shot at the youngster, while refusing to rule out a return to Boundary Park for the player.

“I’ve given Jack Byrne a free role for a number of games but I’ve been disappointed with Jack,” Wellens said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News. “He looks good on the ball but his end product is no assists. He got two goals against Northampton and a goal at Crewe, but that’s a long time since he’s scored a goal.

For the position and the amount of freedom I give him in a game, I would expect more. That deal is down to whether we want to do it or not, so we’ll make a decision. Jack is speaking to a couple of other clubs anyway, which is his right to do.”

Another Irish player, Eoin Doyle, has looked very impressive on loan at Oldham from Preston, scoring 14 goals in 21 appearances in all competitions this season.

Yet Wellens admits Doyle — who has been linked with a move to League One rivals Scunthorpe United — also may have played his last game for the side, who are currently 18th in the table.

To further complicate matters, the striker has missed recent games for the club amid reports he is suffering from a blood clot, potentially ruling him out of action for several months.

“As for Eoin Doyle, any deal with him depends on how long he’s out for,” Wellens said. “If he’s out for four months, can we afford to pay him for three and a half months before he can play? No, but if he’s only out for a month until the middle of February, we could maybe do that.

“It all depends how his appointment with the doctor goes. We’ll get the report back from that and make a decision. It’s too early to tell at the moment as we need to know how long he’s out for.”

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