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McCarthy: Euros a Great Incentive for Strike Pair
Saturday, 21st Nov 2015 06:00

Boss Mick McCarthy was delighted to see the Republic of Ireland reach next summer’s European Championship by beating Bosnia-Herzegovina in their two-legged play-off not just as a former manager and player but also because it provided strikers Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick with a great incentive.

Murphy, who now has 19 caps, played in both legs of the victory over the Bosnians, while twice-capped McGoldrick was forced out of the squad by his groin injury. Both are still to score their first international goals.

“It was fantastic to see the atmosphere at the Aviva Stadium, it was like Lansdowne Road of old, it was wonderful and I’m now looking forward to seeing them at the European Championships,” McCarthy said.

“Another reason I’m delighted that they’ve qualified is because if there’s ever an incentive to play well and score goals [it’s a major tournament], not that Murph needs any more, but it’s still nice to have.

“It’s all about timing in sport and he’d not scored, he’d not been playing that well until three or four weeks ago when he started to get back at his best, but he wasn’t scoring.

“And then, lo and behold, the Saturday before the two internationals he knocks a hat-trick in, he’s back at his best and he plays in both games that have got them to the finals in 2016.

“So for him it’s important and also David McGoldrick. He’s been the one that’s been unlucky at the end of two seasons, he’s just having that unlucky spell now.

“Maybe he'll get back and scores 10 and 15 goals between now and the end of the season and he’ll be up the pecking order for the Euros. It’s an incentive for both of them and it can only help us.”

He believes playing at the Euros or a World Cup can improve a player: “Undoubtedly, no question in my mind at all. Even just going and playing with international squads improves you.

“I remember being at Manchester City and being called up to play for Ireland and I came back that summer a far more confident and better player, there was no doubt.

“And the more games I played and ultimately then playing in the Euros in 1988 certainly helped me as well.”

Meanwhile, Tommy Oar won his 28th full cap with Australia during the break, coming on as a 47th minute sub in the 4-0 victory in Bangladesh.

McCarthy says the 23-year-old has been unfortunate since he joined the Blues, having suffered a concussion on his full debut, the 0-0 draw with Huddersfield.

“He’s not played [other than nine minutes as a sub against Cardiff] since and then he’s travelled to Australia and then Bangladesh. A fair old trip.

“He came in yesterday and said he had a stiff back, well quelle surprise! I said it was a good job he’s not 6ft 2in!”

Also away during the break was Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who took his England U19 caps haul to five in a 5-1 friendly thrashing of Japan.

McCarthy says playing international football even at U19 level is beneficial: “I think just going away internationally helps all the players.

“It makes you more rounded, as much as a person as anything else, having to integrate with everybody else and travel helps.

“And certainly playing, it will be a completely different style to what we play and the Championship and how it is, as physical as it is. But he copes with it all.”


Photo: Action Images



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