Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Millar's middle men aim high

Roy Millar believes that Northern Ireland's next midfield partnership is ready and waiting to break through.

The under-21 manager is preparing his team for Friday night's European Championship qualifier against Germany at Mourneview Park.

Whichever eleven he sends out is likely to be built around a central pairing of Tottenham's Kieran McKenna and Robert Garrett from Stoke City and Millar expects future senior managers to be doing exactly the same.

It's not so long ago that Sammy Clingan and Steve Davis were being tipped as a pair for the future and over the last year they have played major roles in the team's push for a place at next summer's Euro 2008 finals.

" Kieran McKenna and Robert Garrett have combined very well and I would like to think they can be the new Clingan and Davis," said Millar.

" Over the last two or three years McKenna has struggled a lot with injury and he has only played three times.

"Clingan and Davis played in almost every game together through the age groups and are doing so now in the senior team.

"Robert Garrett is one of the younger members of this squad and he is as advanced as Davis was at this stage.

" As long as they continue to develop there is nothing stopping them from breaking into the senior side."

McKenna is a slight injury doubt for tomorrow night's game, as is Scunthorpe's Martin Paterson.

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