Wednesday 7 December 2016

McClean vents fury at 'silly and stupid' Shiels views

Published 26/10/2016 | 02:30

Ireland winger James McClean has hit out at Kenny Shiels. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
Ireland winger James McClean has hit out at Kenny Shiels. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

Ireland winger James McClean has hit out at Kenny Shiels, the manager of his former club Derry City, for 'ridiculous' comments about the importance of international football.

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McClean was outraged by headline-grabbing views from Shiels last month when he suggested there was no pride in national service because of the movement of players between countries.

"You could have a pint for Guinness and play for Ireland," said the opinionated Derry boss. "There are Italian and Scottish people playing for Ireland. The Republic of Ireland are England reserves and Northern Ireland are England's reserves' reserves. It's diabolical."

Those views outraged McClean who decided to wait until Derry secured a third-place finish in the league before issuing a response.

The West Brom player remains passionate about his old club - his brother Patrick has featured this term - and has praised their performances on the park. But Shiels' post-match interviews have not impressed him.

"I've become frustrated and very disappointed reading some of the silly and stupid comments made by Kenny Shiels in the media," McClean told the 'Derry Journal'.

"What right or what credentials does he hold to make such ridiculous comments on international football. For me, playing in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin in front of thousands of people and wearing that green jersey means so much to me and my team-mates.

"Players such as David Forde, Seamus Coleman, Wes Hoolahan, Stephen Ward, Daryl Murphy and myself graduated through local League of Ireland football.

"He's actually been laughed at and ridiculed on television following the comments and I don't believe a Derry City manager should be viewed as a comedian. He's done himself no favours.

"I'm not prepared to let him belittle the strides Irish players have made in their careers by going on to represent their country.

"These are proud moments for the vast majority of players and moments that young players, such as myself, have long dreamt about."

Irish Independent

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