Mick McCarthy has outlined that he is looking forward to seeing James McCarthy back in the Irish squad after watching the midfielder’s Crystal Palace debut with the U23s.
The Irish manager saw McCarthy play 90 minutes in the heart of the Palace midfield as they drew with Birmingham City in what was his first appearance for the club since his £8 million move from Everton.
The 28-year old had struggled for first team appearances at Goodison Park since his horrendous injury in early 2018 and despite returning to fitness midway through last season, manager Marco Silva rarely used him.
His lack of game time also led to him falling out of favour at international level with McCarthy’s last appearance in green coming almost three years ago.
Back fit again however and at a new club in Crystal Palace, McCarthy will be hoping to regain his place in the Irish midfield, with the holding role seemingly perfect for him.
Speaking on the FAI’s website, Mick McCarthy outlined that he and Palace manager Roy Hodgson watched James McCarthy play for the U23s and that they are both looking forward to having the player back in their respective sides.
“James has had a terrible time with injury so getting game time now is vital for him. 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.
ICYMI: Jamesy joins Palace!
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) August 8, 2019
McCarthy also outlined that he was pleased to see two other Irish players feature for the Seagulls’ U23s, with goalkeeper Stephen Henderson and U19 international Kian Flanagan also getting some game time.
“The fact that I got to see Stephen Henderson and young Kian Flanagan play as well was a bonus. I know Wayne, Stephen’s uncle, well so it was good to get a look at him while Kian has played for us at underage level and is only 20 later this month.”