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James McCarthy's Palace rebirth makes him worthy of play-off call-up

Daniel McDonnell


Midfielder's Premier League return after three lost years must affect Mick McCarthy's thinking for March deciders

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James McCarthy. Photo: Getty Images

James McCarthy. Photo: Getty Images

SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

James McCarthy. Photo: Getty Images

It is fitting that James McCarthy returns to Goodison Park today after crossing a statistical landmark which highlights the scale of his recovery at Crystal Palace.

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When the Irish midfielder made it through the halfway point of last weekend's game with Sheffield United, his tally of Premier League minutes this campaign was greater than his total in his final three seasons with Everton.