Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy admitted that he was impressed by Shamrock Rovers midfielder Jack Byrne when he attended the 3-2 victory over Dundalk on Friday night.
Byrne came up with the winning goal for the Hoops in what was a fascinating affair between the two sides who will likely challenge for the Premier Division title this season.
McCarthy was in attendance at Tallaght Stadium. Despite leaving before Byrne had the chance to find the net with a fantastic effort from just outside the Dundalk area, he stated that he was delighted with the 23-year-old’s performance.
‘I did see Jack’s goal – on my phone in the car,” he said on the FAI’s official website.
“And yes, it was a great goal and maybe as good as the earlier Jordan Flores strike for Dundalk that has been seen by so many across the globe by now and rightly so.
“What did impress me on the night was Jack’s ability to see a pass and make the pass. Plenty of players can see a pass but Jack is able to play the ball as well and that was a key factor in the game.
“He certainly gave me plenty to think about with that performance and I loved everything about the game. The atmosphere was electric, the record crowd had a real buzz about them and it was a great advert for the League.”
Byrne’s strong display and winning goal came in another promising weekend for Irish players across a host of respective clubs with McCarthy outlining that he is very pleased to see so many scoring at just the right the time.
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“Our players are scoring at just the right time as we get closer to Slovakia.
“Michael (Obafemi) will be delighted to have scored after getting the nod to start upfront with Shane (Long) and Matt (Doherty) is getting plenty of chances at Wolves and taking them.
“Scott (Hogan) is on fire at Birmingham and really looks like he is proving a point to himself never mind to anyone else after moving there on loan in the January window. We’ve watched Jason (Knight) and James (Collins) a lot in the Championship this season and it is good to see them on the scoresheet as well.
“I don’t care who gets the goals in Slovakia so long as we get goals and there are plenty of Irish players enjoying the goalscoring habit now which I’m sure everyone who wants that play-off win is delighted with, me included.”
There was, however, a blow for McCarthy after his captain Seamus Coleman was forced off in the first half of Everton’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United with what looked to be a thigh injury.
“Our thoughts are with Seamus now,” said the manager as the defender awaits full analysis of a scan on the injury.
“Our doctor Alan Byrne has been in touch with the medical team at Everton and we will wait on their prognosis.
“It’s not good news as of now but, like James McClean, Seamus is a fighter and he will do everything he can do to be on the plane to Slovakia. We will keep our fingers crossed for him.”