Irish manager Mick McCarthy has admitted that he will be keeping an eye on Dundalk striker Pat Hoban after he became the Lilywhites’ record goalscorer in their victory over Shamrock Rovers.
Hoban scored his seventh goal of the season as Dundalk beat their title rivals at Oriel Park and the 27-year old became Dundalk’s record goalscorer in the process, surpassing Joey Donnelly’s 80-year record of 69 goals for the club.
The Dundalk man has so far continued where he left off from last season in goalscoring terms after he finished the campaign with 29 goals and there had been calls from many to give him an opportunity at international level given his form.
In his scouting report on the FAI’s website, McCarthy mentioned the goalscoring form of Luton Town’s James Collins, who found the net once again, but also admitted that he is “keeping an eye” on Hoban.
“James keeps on scoring which is great and I know Patrick set a new record for Dundalk on Friday and we’ll be keeping an eye on him in the coming weeks,” added McCarthy.
McCarthy was also full of praise for the in-form Shane Long, who has been finding the net with ease for Southampton over the past few weeks.
Long has scored four goals in his last five game in the Premier League and is finding his goalscoring form at a perfect time for Ireland with the training camp in Portugal as well as the Euro qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar on the horizon.
“The Ireland fans used to sing that Shane Long was on fire, well he is now so they can get the song ready again,” said McCarthy
“I am delighted to see him scoring but just as happy that Shane is back in the Southampton team and playing on a regular basis. It’s his fitness as much as his goalscoring that pleases me because I know he was frustrated when that injury forced him to return home after just a couple of days with us in March.
“I’m not a manager who rates a striker purely on goalscoring. I played Freddie Sears for a long stretch at Ipswich with only a handful of goals but Freddie caused havoc for the opposition defence every time he played.
“Shane is a really effective centre-forward. These goals will just give him a real lift and boost his confidence coming back into our squad and that can only be good news with the training camp in Portugal and two big games on the horizon.”