Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy ‘praying’ that David McGoldrick and Jonny Williams return from international duty unscathed

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy admits he is concerned about recent long-term absentees David McGoldrick and Jonny Williams returning from international duty with fresh injuries, but says he was in no position to object to their call-ups.

Striker McGoldrick is in the Republic of Ireland squad, ahead of their World Cup qualifier in Austria tomorrow (5pm), with just two-and-a-half club games under his belt following a 12-game absence with an ankle injury.

Attacking midfielder Williams is in the Wales squad, alongside Blues club-mate Tom Lawrence, as the Euro 2016 semi-finalists prepare to take on Group D leaders Serbia, in Cardiff, tomorrow (7.45pm).

Crystal Palace loanee Williams has played less than a hour of first-team football – spread out across four substitute appearances – since recovering from an ankle injury he sustained with his Premier League employers in pre-season.

Both players have endured a frustrating couple of years with injuries and McCarthy has had to wait a long time to have two of his most creative sparks available again.

“We’ve got Jonny and Didz (McGoldrick) fit just in time for the internationals!” joked the Blues boss, who spent six years in charge of the Republic of Ireland.

“It’s up to them to look after themselves when they are away and be careful with how much they do and the intensity of what they do. Let’s hope and pray they come back fit.”

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McCarthy revealed recently that former Blues striker Daryl Murphy would often return from Ireland duty with a calf problem, while Everton boss Ronald Koeman is locked in a war of words with Ireland managerial duo Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane at present over midfielder James McCarthy.

Koeman is unhappy that McCarthy started two games in quick succession for his country recently having only just recovered from groin surgery. He has been withdrawn from this squad.

Did McCarthy consider blocking the call-ups of McGoldrick and Williams?

“There was no chance of that,” he said. “They are good players and I’d have called them up in this situation when I was an international manager.”

Elsewhere, Blues defender Christophe Berra is in the Scotland squad for their game against England, at Wembley, tonight.