Kevin Kilbane Wanted Irish Defenders To Keep James McClean Away From The Ball Last Night

Kevin Kilbane Wanted Irish Defenders To Keep James McClean Away From The Ball Last Night

It feels like a long time ago since James McClean scored the winner in Austria last November.

It all looked so positive of Ireland's potential World Cup qualification hopes back then, after the 1-0 win in Vienna. Since then, the team have struggled and the West Brom star has failed to have the same impact as he did that night.

Speaking on Wednesday night on Off the Ball, former Ireland international Kevin Kilbane said the Derry native is simply trying too hard for the good of the team. That effort is taking away from his own individual performances.

I dont think he has that selfishness within him. Everything he does is wanting to improve himself and the side...

He was just that desperate to have an impact on the game - it was more for his team... The decisions at times, particularly shooting on his right foot.

Throughout the second-half, McClean was all over the field, trying to get near the ball, in a bid to influence the game.


Kilbane thought the West Brom winger should have been told by someone on the field or sidelines to get away from the defence, and focus on his job in midfield.

James McClean wanted to have an influence too deep...

Somebody on that pitch, particularly [Cyrus] Christie or Shane Duffy should have said 'Get away from me! Get of my toes'.

Because James is desperate to impress and wants to have an influence on the game - not for selfish reasons. He should have been told by one of the other players in that team last night to take the responsibility in getting up the pitch.

Do not do that job. You don't need to. You're too good in other places to be doing that job.

With two games to go, McClean will miss the home game with Moldova through suspension. He may find it difficult to force his way back in, if his replacement impresses next month in Dublin.

Daniel Kelly

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