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Ireland’s James McClean Hits Out At Players Putting Club Before Country

Republic of Ireland Press Briefing, New York Red Bulls Training Facility, New York, USA 30/5/2017 James McClean

As he prepares to make his 50th appearance for the Republic of Ireland, James McClean has revealed how little time he has for those that put club before country.

The West Brom winger looks set to captain the Irish side as he clocks up his half-century against Mexico in New Jersey on Thursday night, and has revealed that he is fit and raring to go ahead of what will be a busy ten days for Ireland which will have a big bearing on their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup in Russia next year.

Speaking to reporters in New Jersey ahead of that first of three matches, McClean has questioned the commitment of any player that rules himself out of an international only to feature for his club days later:

“What motivation do you need to play for your country? I’m fit and ready and available for selection.

“It gets on my nerves when players come in and they’re not fit for games, but they are for the club games at the weekend. That gets to me.

“To see the excitement here of lads who want to wear that jersey, it’s brilliant. It rubs off on you.”

via the Irish Times

2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna, Austria 12/11/2016 Austria vs Republic of Ireland Ireland's James McClean celebrates the win
INPHO/Ryan Byrne

The 28-year-old, having made his debut just before the 2012 European Championships, has become a vital component of Martin O’Neill’s side over the course of this qualification campaign. His goal in the reverse fixture in Vienna gave Ireland a vital away win and put them in fantastic stead for the remainder of the campaign.

He, and indeed the Irish footballing nation as a whole, will be hoping he can repeat the trick against Austria in Dublin next month.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.