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'It's just tough on the Doc' - Mick McCarthy says Matt Doherty must wait for chance

 

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Mick McCarthy and Matthew Doherty celebrate after the Georgia match. Photo: Reuters

Mick McCarthy and Matthew Doherty celebrate after the Georgia match. Photo: Reuters

Mick McCarthy and Matthew Doherty celebrate after the Georgia match. Photo: Reuters

Mick McCarthy has indicated that Matt Doherty will have to wait in reserve with Ireland until Seamus Coleman or Enda Stevens suffers an injury.

The Wolves player had to settle for a role as a sub in Tuesday's win over Georgia after McCarthy admitted that the in-form Premier League star had found it hard to adjust to playing as a winger in Gibraltar.

That left him with a choice between Coleman and Doherty at right-back and he went with the Irish captain.

McCarthy praised Coleman's performance in the Aviva Stadium success and asserted that his place in the side is safe for now.

And the switching of Doherty to left-full is not on the agenda as the 60-year-old is very happy with the quality of Sheffield United's Stevens - a player who is thriving for the promotion chasers.

"If I've got one as good as Enda Stevens then I won't be doing that, that's for sure," he said, when that idea was raised.

McCarthy was asked if it was 'unfortunate' that he will have to pick between the two.

However, he replied that he didn't have to make up his mind when there was only a right-back spot available.

"Seamus plays right-back every week," he said.

"'The Doc' plays right wing-back. It's unfortunate for them but it's not unfortunate for me because if one of them is injured, I've got another good one.

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"I'm playing Seamus and I'm afraid it's just tough on the Doc. And if he (Doherty) gets in for any reason then it's his place to keep."

McCarthy believes that the positive start to the Euro 2020 campaign might succeed in sending out a message to any Irish eligible players that might be on the fence about their international intentions.

Leeds striker Patrick Bamford has asked for time to think about his options – he wants to concentrate on club football until the summer.

McCarthy also wants to bring Nathan Redmond on board – but has failed to get beyond the Southampton player’s agent.

He went down that road when pressed on whether an extended summer gathering will give him a bit more time to work this group and build on the good parts of the last week.

The next gathering will be a week long training camp in Portugal in May which will be followed by the build-up to a pair of qualifiers with Denmark and Gibraltar.

“If I can get more out of them than I have got on Tuesday then I will be delighted,” said McCarthy.

“You know what’s really nice is that they are looking forward to coming back and they all want to be in the squad.

“We have got six points and maybe one or two of them who we have been trying to get might go ‘hold on a minute’ and might sit up and take a look at us at the top of the group. That’s a nice part of it.”

Meanwhile, Ireland midfielder Robbie Brady said he had no complaints about being dropped for the Gibraltar match due to his struggles with Burnley this term.

The 27-year-old was recalled for the Georgia match – getting the nod ahead of Doherty on the right side of midfield – but was replaced with 18 minutes to go.

“I can’t come in expecting to play when I’m not playing, especially on the back of my long injury,” said Brady, who spent nine months on the sidelines due to a complicated knee tendon problem.

He returned to action in October but has not started a Premier League game in 2019.

“I’m feeling stronger as the weeks go on,” he said, “I think I expected that when I got the injury, it would take me a while to get back to my best.

“I’m getting back to where I need to be. I need to work on that myself and get back in the team at Burnley if I want to play here.”


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