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McCarthy pride inspired ward

GIOVANNI Trapattoni might be wishing there were more Premier League managers like Mick McCarthy, WRITES RUAIDHRI O'CONNOR.

Wolves left-back Stephen Ward yesterday revealed his club manager's consistent disappointments at Trap's decision to overlook the Portmarnock man for squad after squad.

And in an era where players and clubs seem less than enamoured by international football, McCarthy's encouragement for his charge to keep the faith is in stark contrast with the norm.

Ward was rewarded with two caps last week -- and a goal against Northern Ireland -- and he's in the mix for the Macedonia clash this weekend and after receiving a congratulatory text from McCarthy, he spoke of how he inspired him to stay patient.

"He speaks so highly of playing and managing his country, that it definitely rubbed off on me how passionate he was," he said. "For a while Mick was wondering if I'd ever get a cap. I was tired of getting asked about it, as he was. He just said to be patient and when you get your chance you'll be ready."

It has been argued that Ward's versatility has worked against him during the selection process in the past, but he argues that now that he's in the squad, his ability to fill holes is a bonus.

"Being able to play in a few positions has benefited me," he added.

Irish Independent