Wednesday 23 August 2017

Shay Given backs James McClean’s Euro bid

Shay Given. Photo: Getty Images
Shay Given. Photo: Getty Images
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

SHAY GIVEN has backed James McClean's Euro 2012 mission, and says that anyone who is good enough should be on the plane regardless of whether they were involved in the qualification effort.

The Sunderland winger is the form Irishman in the Premier League and has received a late call-up for next week's friendly with the Czech Republic. Giovanni Trapattoni initially suggested that the players who booked Ireland's ticket to Poland should go to the finals, but Given feels there should be room for a newcomer who makes a strong case.

"I wouldn't be one to say 'these guys got us there, they all definitely need to go'. I believe there is space for one or two," said Given yesterday.

"I think the manager will say in the back of his head, 'well, if McClean, for example, keeps firing in goals every week, it will be hard to say he can't squeeze in.' Do you know what I mean? I wouldn't be the one to say he shouldn't be in the squad if he's doing so well."

Given has been impressed by the former-Derry City star's rapid rise to prominence, although he is conscious that the 22-year-old will have to cope with the extra scrutiny.

"We just don't want to put too much pressure on his shoulders because he does look like a really good player," added the Aston Villa goalkeeper.

"You don't want to hype him up too much. Hopefully he'll just keep going the way he's doing, because he's doing brilliantly.

"He's come from nowhere really. I think maybe more scouts will be coming across to watch players in Ireland because if he can do that there must be other players in the League of Ireland that can maybe do similar things."

Irish Independent

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