Mick McCarthy believes Ipswich Town striker David McGoldrick deserves an Ireland slot at Euro 2016
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy hopes David McGoldrick can end a frustrating season on a high by representing the Republic of Ireland at this summer’s European Championships.
The silky forward was a talismanic figure during his first year at the club, his impressive form leading to a multi-million pound bid from Leicester City and an international call-up after previously unknown Irish family roots were discovered.
Then came a host of injuries – both knees, hamstring and groin, many of them freak occurrences – to limit him to just 38 starts from a possible 117 since February 2014. Since returning to first-team action at the start of April he has increasingly looked like the player of old though and ended the campaign with morale-boosting goals against MK Dons and Derby.
Whether it is enough for him to make the 23-man cut when Martin O’Neill names his squad on May 27, following a home friendly against Holland, remains to be seen.
“I hope he plays in the European Championships because he can play at that level,” said McCarthy, who himself played 57 times for Ireland before going to manage them for seven years, guiding them to the last 16 of the 2002 World Cup.
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“Didzy (McGoldrick) has got the technique, he’s quick enough and strong enough and he’s got the ability in his feet and in his head.
“He’s got stronger and stronger, is looking really good, and I sincerely hope that he goes and plays at the Euros. He deserves that after the couple of stop-start seasons he’s had with injuries.
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“If he’s lucky enough to be picked by Martin O’Neill then I’ll be delighted.”
McGoldrick, whose two caps came as starts in friendlies against the USA and England, said: “To end the season with four starts and a couple of goals is great for me. I’ve been trying to get myself as fit as I can and I want to fight my way into the Ireland squad.
“We’ve not heard anything about that, but hopefully that will come sometime soon. Ireland would be a massive bonus but given the time out I’ve had to be honest. It’s just great to be playing.”
Town striker Daryl Murphy, capped 16 times by Ireland, also faces uncertainty about his place in the squad after missing the last eight matches of the season with a slight calf tear.
Town are unlikely to have any further representation at the tournament due to the fact that Christophe Berra’s Scotland and Jonas Knudsen’s Denmark both failed to qualify for the bumper 24-team format, while Bartosz Bialkowski has never been capped by Poland.