O'Shea hails McClean as Ireland's future
JOHN O'Shea has told James McClean that he is Ireland's future as the Derry lad prepares to sign a new contract worth over £1m following his rapid rise to prominence.
Sunderland are keen to offer McClean a bumper deal to reward him for his impressive exploits since Martin O'Neill pitched him into the first team.
The €400,000 capture from Derry City signed a three-year contract worth in the region of £4,000 a week when he was plucked from the League of Ireland last summer. He is set to be bumped up to the £10,000 a week mark in the next fortnight.
And it is well timed for the 22-year-old, who was disappointed last week when his Euro 2012 dreams were dashed by Giovanni Trapattoni. The Ireland manager left the winger out of the squad for the upcoming friendly with the Czech Republic and phoned McClean to say he was sticking with his tried and trusted for Poland.
"I think the manager has spoken to him and said his time will come," said his Sunderland team-mate O'Shea. "He probably had so many people telling him that he was going to be in the squad that it'll be a little bit disappointing for him.
"But as the manager has said, he's future for Ireland, and he'll have plenty of time to get his caps. The manager has been one of the most successful that has ever been involved in the game, so we have to trust his judgment."
McClean was in goalscoring form for Sunderland again at the weekend, netting in their 2-1 defeat to Arsenal. O'Shea says it is evidence of the left winger's confidence.
"He's been amazing for us, he really has," added the Waterford man. "He was up against an experienced full-back in (Bacary) Sagna, but James was never afraid to get at him, get crosses in and take him on.
"He's improving on coming inside as well. That's a part of his game he's really improving on, the awareness of not just causing teams problems by going down the outside."