Mick McCarthy has whittled his selection down to a 23 man squad as his side begin preparations for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Gibraltar on Georgia later this month.
McCarthy has included Glen Whelan and James Collins in the squad. Whelan is now 35 has been recalled to the squad five months after many had thought his international career was over. However, he didn’t officially retire so therefore was available for selection. Speaking to RTE Sport the question of what team he will pick against Gibraltar in which McCarthy responded “Am I as green as I am cabbage-looking? We want to beat Gibraltar as that’s our first game. I don’t want any backlash from that.” “We’ll go there with the strongest team I have and try win that game.”
The squad itself to me is quite different with several players left out for one reason or another, players that are not in the squad include James McCarthy, Stephen Ward, David Meyler, Cyrus Christie, Padraig Amond and Aiden McGeady all of these players were named in the 38 man provisional squad but they will now not be required for these two games. Ireland have a lack of goalscorers up front in my opinion in terms of form the strikers having been getting goals with their clubs like Shane Long and Sean Maguire for instance, this question was put to McCarthy and the question of Patrick Bamford came up, but it’s unlikely now that we won’t see him till summer. McCarthy said “I won’t be speaking to Patrick Bamford now, he wants to concentrate on his club career for the moment. He’s back in the team, he’s scoring goals, Leeds are flying and he doesn’t want anything to distract him so we just left it”.
Ireland face Gibraltar on the 23rd of March, three days later they face Georgia in what will be Mick McCarthy’s first home game at the Aviva.
Republic of Ireland Squad
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Middlesbrough), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Mark Travers (Bournemouth)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Richard Keogh (Derby County), John Egan (Sheffield United), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United)
Midfielders: Alan Judge (Ipswich Town), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Alan Browne (Preston North End), Harry Arter (Cardiff City*), Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa), Robbie Brady (Burnley), Callum O’Dowda (Bristol City), James McClean (Stoke City)
Forwards: Shane Long (Southampton), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth), David McGoldrick (Sheffield United), James Collins (Luton Town)
Video: from Off the Ball Youtube