Mick McCarthy is not to0 keen on the idea of playing two strikers up top regardless of the excellent recent goalscoring form of a number of Irish frontmen.
David McGoldrick, Callum Robinson, James Collins and Shane Long have all been in excellent form for their clubs, as the season reaches its climax.
McCarthy opted to play David McGoldrick up top on his own with two wingers either side of him in the victory over Georgia and it proved to be a much better decision than the two strikers he deployed against Gibraltar in difficult circumstances.
Veteran striker Shane Long, however, has returned to form with Southampton bagging three goals in his last four appearances, including the quickest goal in Premier League history against Watford on Tuesday night.
Speaking at the launch of the 2019 SportsDirect FAI Summer Soccer Schools, McCarthy was full of praise for Long but also mentioned the likes of McGoldrick and Robinson as he assesses his attacking options for the upcoming games against Denmark and Gibraltar.
“He (Long) can have a real impact because of his physical presence and his work rate and his power and pace. But if he’s scoring goals as well then you’ve got a good player on your hands.
“His goal should be remembered for his deft finish, not just the fact he blocked the kick-off. His finish at the end of it was brilliant.
“It’s great to have him back. Callum Robinson is back scoring as well, David McGoldrick is scoring, Enda Stevens got a couple.”
The former Ipswich boss was also quizzed as to where he sees Shane Long fitting into the team, but stressed in typical McCarthy fashion that the game against Gibraltar proved to him that two up top was not the way to go.
“He’s a striker isn’t he? Some chump said to me, ‘aw you’ve got to get two up front’. Fucking hell.
“We played two up front in Gibraltar and hardly had any shots! We played one, well three up front, here [against Georgia] and had far more chances and played better. It was just a different game, one team sitting in and making it hard, the other team pressing.”
One striker McCarthy will not have at his disposal will be Leeds United’s, Patrick Bamford.
The 25-year old has scored 10 goals in 14 starts this campaign and had previously been in contact with McCarthy about declaring for Ireland sometime in the future.
McCarthy, however, explained that he has not been in contact with the striker since he outlined that he was focusing on his club football with Marcelo Bielsa’s side until the end of the season.
“He told me he wanted to concentrate on his football so I let him do that and he wanted to [finish] his season because he’d been injured.
“Let him concentrate on that and he’s no chance of being involved in the summer because he hasn’t got his passport or his papers or whatever it takes to do it.
“So the only chance he’s got is if he tells me at the end of the season and it could be September, October [or] November.”