Football

Mick McCarthy Says Slovakia Clash No Place For Debutants Or Younger Players

Mick McCarthy Says Slovakia Clash No Place For Debutants Or Younger Players

With the Euro 2020 play-offs a matter of weeks away, speculation is starting to mount around potential changes to the Ireland team for the trip to Slovakia.

A number of players who were not involved previously looked to have play their way into contention. Shane Long has been in excellent form for Southampton after missing out on the last couple of squads, while James McCarthy has established himself as an important player for Crystal Palace.

That's without mentioning the exploits of some youngsters in the Championship. The likes of Jayson Molumby, Dara O'Shea, and Jason Knight have been operating a consistently high level, leading some to suggest they could be in contention for selection.

That looks unlikely.

Speaking at the launch of the INTERSPORT Elverys FAI Summer Schools scheme this afternoon, Ireland manager Mick McCarthy put an end to such ideas.

He said the high pressure nature of the Slovakia clash was no place for debutants, with Ireland set to continue with the same group of players that stumbled through the group for much of 2019:

I'm getting all these names thrown at me who want to come in and play for the very first game. Continuity has been at the base of all my teams and we've had that with the squad.

If you think about the best performance being the Denmark game, if I had been at a club for ten games and had the results we've had, you'd be expecting to get better.

There's not going to be any big change, that's for sure. If the lads who have been playing are fit, they'll be first in contention...

I'm convinced it's not a game for debutants. It's exciting and a great story for you guys, but if he doesn't play well? I don't know too many debutants in play-offs.

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While McCarthy did suggest that Long and McCarthy could be options for the squad due to their experience, the idea of drafting in one of the youngster wasn't really on his radar.

He believes the lack of playing time for Adam Idah, Troy Parrott, and even Aaron Connolly is a major issue. However, he also admitted that even those who do play consistently are likely to be left on the outside looking in on this occasion:

Adam Idah came in and scored a hat-trick (against Preston), then hasn't played since. Aaron Connolly hasn't played, Troy Parrott couldn't go on loan because of his age. There was a problem there with his age because if he did he wouldn't be recognised as a home based player...

Jayson Molumby, I saw him play yesterday, Jason Knight I've watched, the lads are doing well. Dara O'Shea scored yesterday.

They're all doing well, but don't think for one second that because they're doing well in the Championship they're going to come in and play against Slovakia. That's not the case...

There's not going to be wholesale changes, no way.

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy was speaking at the launch of the INTERSPORT Elverys FAI Summer Schools scheme.

SEE ALSO: 'I Didn’t Actually Know I’d Scored. I Knew I’d Got A Good Connection'

Gary Connaughton

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