Mick McCarthy spoke to the assembled media on Monday afternoon ahead of the Republic of Ireland’s upcoming games.
Ireland play New Zealand in a friendly on Thursday at the Aviva Stadium. McCarthy said he will give younger players, such as Troy Parrott, and those not currently in the starting XI, such as Jack Byrne and Robbie Brady, some game time against the All Whites, who are ranked 121st in the world.
In the past week, Byrne has won the FAI Cup with Shamrock Rovers and the PFAI Player of the Year award for his displays in 2019. McCarthy confirmed that the midfielder will earn his second Ireland cap against New Zealand.
“They are the young ones, so every chance, yeah,” the Ireland boss said.
“Jack will be involved, he will play some part of the game. I expect they will be playing.”
“He is thrilled to be in the squad. He had a smile from ear to ear when he came in last night,” he said.
“Let me see him train today. I have seen him walking out and I had a bite to eat with him. I can’t really judge (until he sees him train).”
The Ireland manager admitted he has yet to scout Thursday’s opponents, partly because New Zealand have not played a match since June 2018, when they beat India 2-1. When he was Ipswich Town manager, McCarthy worked with the All Whites most recognisable player, Burnley centre forward Chris Wood.
“I haven’t scouted them,” McCarthy said.
“We will be looking at whatever our analyst has got, and we will see how they have played in the past and how they might play on Thursday. It’s been pretty difficult, there hasn’t been a whole lot out there – certainly recent footage.”
Four days after the New Zealand friendly, the Irish national team face Denmark in a crucial Euro 2020 qualifier they must win to reach the tournament next summer. Ireland’s objective is clear, as only a win will do against the Danes, but the task won’t be simple.
The match next Monday will be the sixth meeting between the teams in the last two years and Ireland have failed to win any, drawing four and losing one – the infamous 5-1 hammering in Dublin two years ago in the second leg of the 2018 World Cup play-off.
However, first up is the friendly against New Zealand on Thursday.