| 10°C Dublin

McCarthy relieved to get over injury hell

JAMES McCarthy has admitted his relief at making a rapid return to full fitness with Everton, immediately after he had missed Ireland's Euro 2016 double header against Gibraltar and Germany.

Martin O'Neill had to cope without Everton duo Séamus Coleman and McCarthy for the qualifiers earlier this month but the pair were deemed fit to play for the Toffees in their weekend win over Aston Villa.

"I tore my hamstring, so I was delighted to get back out there," said McCarthy, who was named as Everton's player of the month for September.

"I was delighted to get through the 90 minutes as well - it was a tough game but fortunately I got through it and there's been no reaction so far.

"It was frustrating because, rather than just watching the boys, you want to be out there to help and do as much as you can to try and affect the score and affect the game.

"It's always frustrating to be injured but I'm just delighted to be back and involved with the squad," added McCarthy, pleased to pick up that monthly award.

"It's obviously a big thing to get Player of the Month. We've had a sticky enough start - we wanted to get more points on the board but unfortunately results haven't gone on our way.

"But now we're looking to kick on - it was a big win at the weekend and we hope to kick-start the season from here," added McCarthy.

Martin O'Neill will track the duo's progress in the coming weeks as he prepares for that vital Euro 2016 quallifier away to Scotland, a big game for McCarthy in his native Glasgow.