Wednesday 16 October 2019

Mick McCarthy responds to 'granny rule' critics and confirms Patrick Bamford wants to play for Ireland

Leeds' Patrick Bamford. Photo: Getty Images
Leeds' Patrick Bamford. Photo: Getty Images

Harry Clarke

Mick McCarthy has responded to critics of the granny rule after the Ireland manager named a 38-man provisional squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia later this month.

The Ireland boss has called up English-born James Collins and confirmed that Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford has said he will be joining up with the Boys In Green.

Following the long, drawn-out Declan Rice saga, there has been much debate about putting more resources into developing homegrown talent instead of hoping for 'granny rule' players to declare.

But McCarthy says people have short memories.

"It's amazing how people's opinions change until they are sat in the hotseat," said McCarthy.,

"England have chased one of our better ones and they've took him. It's not only us that's doing it. Surely it's my job to have the best team possible for players that qualify and that's what I continue to do."

On Bamford, McCarthy added: "My last contact with him was on Saturday morning..they won Friday night.

"I congratulated him on his goals. The one-two at the edge of the box was a sublime finish and I asked him if he still wanted to continue to join us and he said 'yes'. I'm hoping to meet him. I haven't given up on it at all.

"If he does (join Ireland), it's going to be June now because we're not going to get it for these games.

"I've made it clear to him, and I would hope to see him ASAP. I asked him the question 'Do you still want to join us?' - 'Yes' was the answer. So it was a matter of meeting him. I stressed to him if he wants to be involved in June, we need to get it done as quickly as possible."

Aiden McGeady, James McCarthy and Glenn Whelan are three experienced players to make a return.

On McGeady, McCarthy said: "He's in the squad and he's got a chance. Equally, Ronan Curtis and some of the younger ones have impressed me. Ronan Curtis, Callum O'Dowda have done very well at their clubs and they've been scoring goals.

"Aiden has been playing with one of the better teams in the league. We've got a lot of players in those wide areas."

Online Editors

The Left Wing: Welcome to Irish rugby's biggest week - is an upset on the cards?

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport