Belfast Telegraph

James McClean slams Derry City boss for 'ridiculous comments' about international football

Republic of Ireland international James McClean has taken aim at Derry City manager Kenny Shiels over derogatory comments he made recently about international football.

The Derry supremo has made plenty of headlines with some interesting pre-match and post-match interviews since his arrival into the League of Ireland but recent comments about international football have clearly upset McClean.

Shiels said: "International football’s not what it used to be. There’s no pride in it anymore because you could have a pint of Guinness and play for Ireland.

"There are Italians and Scottish people playing for Ireland," added the former Kilmarnock boss, with an apparent nod to Tony Cascarino.

"International football doesn’t interest me one bit, not one bit," he continued. "When you look at the people who can go and play. The Republic of Ireland are England reserves and Northern Ireland are England’s reserves’ reserves. It’s diabolical. I’ve no time for it all."

Shiels' son Dean, who now plays for Airtricity League champions Dundalk, has been capped 14 times by Northern Ireland.

Speaking to the Derry Journal, McClean criticised Shiels credentials for making such disparaging comments about international football.

“I’ve become frustrated and very disappointed reading some of the silly and stupid comments made by Kenny Shiels in the media," he said.

“I really enjoyed representing the Candystripes and to have successfully battled my way through to play international football for my country makes me feel particularly proud.

“What right or what credentials does Kenny Shiels hold to make such ridiculous comments on international football?

“For me, playing in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin in front of thousands of people and wearing that green jersey means so much to me and my team-mates.

“I feel very proud and very fortunate to have been given an opportunity to wear that jersey. I do everything in my power to give 100% when wearing it.

“So how dare Kenny Shiels make such ridiculous comments when he knows very little about playing international football.”

He claimed that Shiels remarks belittled the sacrifices players make to earn the right to represent their country.

“I think Kenny Shiels has done himself no favours with these insulting outbursts regarding international football.

“He’s actually been laughed at and ridiculed on television following the comments and I don’t believe a Derry City manager should be viewed as a comedian.

“I’ve noticed that he likes to make the headlines with some silly interviews before and after games.

“But I’m not prepared to let him belittle the strides Irish players have made in their careers by going on to represent their country.”

McClean suffered a nasty gash to his leg in West Brom's 2-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield but is expected to be available for this weekend's clash with Man City at the Hawthorns.

Irish Independent


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