McGoldrick One of Four Set for Caps
Friday, 6th Oct 2017 06:00
Blues striker David McGoldrick will be hoping to start and win his seventh full cap this evening when the Republic of Ireland face Moldova at the Aviva Stadium in a crucial World Cup qualifier (Sky Sports Main Event/Football, 7.15pm). McGoldrick is one of four Town players who could add to their international caps today.
The 29-year-old, who has already scored six times for the Blues this season, has trained throughout the week having been given the all-clear following a scan after being forced off during the second half of last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at home to Bristol City with a hamstring injury.
Speaking a fortnight ago, McGoldrick admitted he's disappointed that injury has prevented him from making more international appearances, having made his debut in November 2014 when he picked up two assists in a 4-1 victory over the USA, probably his most impressive performance for Ireland so far.
“It is frustrating, I would love to add to the caps I have already won and hopefully I will do,” he said. “I have been injured quite a few times just before internationals and have missed out.
“I know that if I go there it might make it worse and I have learnt from my past that if I have a little injury then don’t go and make it worse. I don’t want to jeopardise my career.
"It is frustrating, but that is football. Not many people have got caps for Ireland and hopefully I will get more in the future.”
He added: “Most of the time when I have been in the provisional squad I have always got called up, I came on a couple of times in the qualification, played a few friendlies in the summer.
“I think that the gaffer likes me and I am there for a reason, it’s not just because I am Irish and a striker. He must feel that I can bring something different to the team and I believe I can, hopefully I can impress in training before the next two games.
McGoldrick missed the last two qualifiers against Georgia and Serbia as his partner had just given birth to their fourth child, daughter Meadow, and was kept in hospital due to complications.
He says manager Martin O'Neill, who yesterday agreed a new contract which runs until after Euro 2020, fully understood the situation.
“She had a scare after the labour and I spoke to Martin O’Neill and he was fine about it, obviously he has got his own family and he wanted me to take care of them,” the Nottingham-born frontman said.
“We arranged to speak later in the week and my missus was in hospital at the time, that was the Thursday or the Friday before they were going away [to Georgia].
“He told me to look after the family, then my missus came home and she was still bed-bound and I had all my kids to look after.
“Martin O’Neill, being the good man that he is, told me to look after my kids. It was family first at that time and I appreciated that. It’s what all men have to do to look after their family.”
Following the Moldova game, Ireland travel to Cardiff for Monday’s final qualifier against Wales, who will be without Real Madrid star Gareth Bale, a former team-mate at Southampton - “fair play to the lad, he is a top professional, a top player and a really nice guy, I am really happy for him” - as the two battle for the second spot in Group D which could yield a place in November’s play-offs.
“Against Wales we might have to show a bit of quality, somebody might have to step up and show their quality,” he reflected.
“We have Premier League players in there and some good Championship players, that magician Wes Hoolahan from up the road.
“He could be a big player for us in that game. Somebody is going to have to step up and show their class.
“You need quality, I feel like I have quality, but there are other strikers fighting for their place.
“Murph, the young boy at Preston, Sean Maguire, coming through now, the boy Scott Hogan at Villa who has just declared himself for Ireland, there are some top strikers there from those names so we will just have to see what happens.”
He added: “Every footballer wants to play at the top and playing for your country is right at the top. It’s a great experience every time I play for them and the atmosphere is massive.
“The level is massive as well, playing with Premier League players and against the USA I had a really good game and hopefully there will be more games like that, I don’t want that to be a one-off.
“I want to show the country and show everybody what I can do and I am sure that will happen.”
In addition to former Blue Daryl Murphy, ex-Town youngster Conor Hourihane is in the squad but one-time skipper Jon Walters is out with a knee injury.
Elsewhere, young striker or midfielder Monty Patterson could pick up his 16th New Zealand cap when the All Whites face Japan in a friendly in Nagoya at lunchtime, a game which is part of their preparations for next month’s play-off against the team which finishes fifth in the South American qualification group, as it stands at present, Peru. The 20-year-old has previously scored one international goal.
Blues defender Tommy Smith wasn’t considered for the friendly due to his hamstring injury but having played for Town’s U23s on Tuesday looks set to be ready for the play-off.
Loanee Bersant Celina will be looking to win his seventh full cap when Kosovo take on Ukraine at home in a Group I World Cup qualifier being played at the Loro Borici Stadium in Shkoder, Albania.
Tristan Nydam, 17, will win his second England U19s cap if he is involved when the Young Lions play the Czech Republic in a friendly at SC Znojmo.
Photo: Action Images
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