Friday 23 August 2019

'He has told us he wants to play for Ireland' - Mick McCarthy keeping tabs on Portsmouth wing-back

Marcus Harness of Burton Albion
Marcus Harness of Burton Albion

Harry Clarke

Ireland manager Mick McCarthy is keeping tabs on right-wing back Marcus Harness.

The 23-year-old, who was born in Coventry, signed for Portsmouth this summer after an impressive season with Burton in League One, scoring six goals in 23 appearances.

"Terry Connor and myself both saw Marcus play with Burton last season and we will have him watched again when the season kicks-off next weekend and see how he gets on," McCarthy told FAI.ie.

"He has told us he wants to play for Ireland and we will follow through on that now and help him sort the paperwork from his side."

With Ireland struggling for an out-and-out goalscorer, 17-year-old Troy Parrott made a welcome appearance for the Tottenham fist team as he put in as solid shift against Juventus on Sunday.

"We know all about Troy and Robbie Keane has been keeping in contact with Spurs about his fitness and his progress," added McCarthy.

"He was very unlucky with injuries at the start of the year and was very disappointed to miss the Under-17 European Championships with Colin O'Brien's side.

"But he is back now and the fact that Spurs kept him out of Tom Mohan's squad for the Under-19 Euros indicated to me that they were going to use him in pre-season.

"Troy got a start on Sunday against a top Italian side which was great for him. He is young and we have to remember that but this is good news for the player and for Ireland."

With Crystal Palace keen to sign James McCarthy and Danny Crowley set to make his Championship bow for Birmingham at Brentford on August 3, McCarthy will have more midfield options for the Swiss game.

"I've chatted with James and he knows my view that he needs games on a regular basis. He is a hugely important player for us but I need to see him play week in and week out now that he is fit again and he understands that," added McCarthy.

"Danny's move has been monitored as well. I did go to see him in the Dutch Cup final when he only came on as a late substitute but it is a bit easier to get to Birmingham matches! He is one of the players we will observe closely when the season kicks-off."

McCarthy also confirmed he will be in Oriel Park on Wednesday night to watch Dundalk in their Champions League qualifier first leg against Qarabag.

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