4 Irish Players Made a Big Impact This Weekend Before Heading To Denmark
Ahead of Ireland's crucial World Cup Qualifier against Denmark this Saturday, there was some promising performances by members of the squad over the weekend.
Here are a few of the Irish lads who stood out this weekend and hopefully gave Martin O'Neill some food for thought.
O’Dowda grabbed his first league goal of the season for Bristol City during their 2-1 win over Cardiff City. O'Dowda landed Bristol's opener with a terrific left-footed strike to add to his recent Carabao Cup goal against Crystal Palace:
? Two great goals to win the Severnside derby.
— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) November 5, 2017
The goal saw O'Dowda showered with praise from fans, fellow players and his manager:
It’s got to be said, the Irish Messi, @CallumODowda is up there with the best in the league right now.
— Budge (@8udge) November 4, 2017
Definitely our most improved player. Looking strong going forward Callum. Keep it up! Brilliant
— Jon (@BristolThrush) October 28, 2017
O'Dowda's manager Lee Johnson spoke glowingly about the 22-year-old:
To get three assists in the last few games, two goals as well, is brilliant for him and you can see him growing in confidence.
He’s always been athletic, powerful and is a pest to play against. I’m delighted for him and we continue to work with him to improve him.
David McGoldrick was also on the score sheet at the weekend, scoring for Mick McCarthy's Ipswich with a thumping header as they put three past Preston North End.
— Tʜᴇ Tʀᴀᴄᴛᴏʀ Bᴏʏs (@TTBITFC) November 4, 2017
With the news confirmed that Sean Maguire will miss both legs of the play-offs, the sight of Irishmen bagging in the goals is a welcome development.
At the other end Darren Randolph is also demonstrating outstanding form, putting in a man-of-the-match performance for Middlesbrough as they defeated a hapless Sunderland 1-0. The game also saw Cyrus Christie, Aiden McGeady, John O'Shea, Marc Wilson and Darron Gibson play, though unfortunately, O'Shea had to come off with a calf injury.
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) November 5, 2017
Randolph's heroics did not go unnoticed by the English footballing public, with some even calling for his inclusion in Gareth Southgate's England team:
— Ⓖⓐⓥ 🇮🇸 (@GS87_) November 5, 2017
When did Darren Randolph turn into Gordon effing Banks?
— John Carney (@JohnCarney60) November 5, 2017
Darren Randolph was class today the save from Grabban early on was nothing short of world class #MIDSUN
— Josh Bunting (@Distillerymad) November 5, 2017
Brighton kept yet another clean sheet during their 1-0 against Swansea. Duffy is now top of the Premier League stats for headed clearances.
Brighton's centre half partnership of Duffy and Lewis Dunk have been at the heart of their recent good run with Chris Hughton's team going up to 8th in the Premier League, and unbeaten in four games, conceding just two goals in those games.
£4million for Shane Duffy looks pretty cheap now.
— Pat O'Loughlin (@Pat_O_Loughlin) November 4, 2017
Finally, the Irish contingent at Burnley also enjoyed another successful outing as they defeated Southampton 1-0. Stephen Ward, Jeff Hendrick and Robbie Brady all started for Sean Dyche's team, who amazingly, are now 6th in the table.
— 𝓐𝓪𝓻𝓸𝓷 💥 (@AarxnLennon) November 4, 2017
It's encouraging to see so many of the Irish squad in such good form, and all around the pitch, ahead of the playoffs games. While Denmark deal with a injury headache, Martin O'Neill can rest assured when the squad meets up today that his players they are ready to put in a big performance.