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Ireland under-21 defender Mark McGuinness stars in Cardiff City win

Mark McGuinness stood out in Cardiff’s 1-0 victory over Barnsley last night.

Ireland under-21 defender Mark McGuinness helped Cardiff City to a second consecutive Championship victory last night.

The former Arsenal academy centre-back played the full ninety minutes as the Bluebirds picked up an important three points on the road to Barnsley.

21-year-old McGuinness was signed by Mick McCarthy last Summer, but has produced his best performances in recent weeks, under new manager Steve Morison.

McGuinness made as many as eight clearances and won 100% of his tackles in yesterday’s 1-0 win.

The impressive display comes only days after Clinton Morrison hailed him live on Sky Sports.

Mark McGuinness Clinton Morrison

Mark McGuinness helps Cardiff to three points.

Young McGuinness plays on the left-side of a three-at-the-back, completed by captain Sean Morrision and the interestingly named Perry Ng.

There was disruption in the Cardiff defence ten minutes into the game, however. The experienced Morrison came off injured and was replaced by Aden Flint.

Cardiff found themselves under the pump for large portions of the game, with just 38% of possesion, but McGuinness ensured his captain’s absence wasn’t felt.

The Cardiff defence managed to see off Barnsley’s best attacking efforts for extended periods of the game and eventually snatched a second half winner through substitute Uche Ikpeazu.

Irish centre-backs making their mark in the Championship.

The towering defender is one of many Irish centre-backs who have impressed in the Championship this season.

In just the last few days, Sean McLoughlin (Hull), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn), Jimmy Dunne (QPR) and John Egan (Sheffield United) all kept clean-sheets for their respective clubs.

Conveniently, every one of those defenders plays in a three-at-the-back system, not dissimilar to Stephen Kenny’s Ireland formation.

For extensive coverage of Ireland’s best up and coming prospects, follow Kenny’s Kids on Twitter. 

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