Mick McCarthy watched James McCarthy play 90 minutes on Monday evening as the Crystal Palace U23s took on Birmingham.
It came just days after the midfielder finally got his escape from Goodison Park, joining Crystal Palace in an £8 million deadline day move.
Through a combination of injury and being unable to find favour with managers, McCarthy made just five appearances in the Premier League over the past two seasons.
"James has had a terrible time with injury so getting game time now is vital for him," McCarthy told the FAI website.
The Ireland manager names his squad on Friday for next month's Euro 2020 qualifier against Switzerland and the friendly against Bulgaria.
What was important was that he played. I know one of the reasons James wanted to move from Everton was to get more football after playing so little last season following his injury.
These are only baby steps for him but he is back now and looking forward to a new start with Palace. I sat beside Roy Hodgson for the game and I know from talking to Roy just how happy he is to have signed James for Palace.
Roy is really looking forward to working with James at Palace and so am I with Ireland. I’ve kept in touch with James over the summer and look forward to seeing him back in the international squad.
McCarthy also got a chance to watch Irish keeper Stephen Henderson who also played for Palace on Monday night, along with Ireland U19 international Kian Flanagan who came off the bench.
The 60-year-old was at Dean Court on Saturday to see Bournemouth play Sheffield United and was impressed by the Callum Robinson and David McGoldrick partnership started by the latter.
Ireland assistant manager Terry Connor was present at St Andrews at the weekend as Danny Crowley played 66 minutes for Birmingham against Bristol City while scouts also watched Harry Arter and Josh Cullen featuring for Fulham and Charlton, respectively.
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