Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

McCarthy plays down Ireland row

James McCarthy has re-affirmed his commitment to Ireland after insisting a row over his unavailability was "blown out of proportion".

The 20-year-old Wigan midfielder found himself in the firing line late last season as international boss Giovanni Trapattoni expressed his frustration at injured players not reporting for duty to be assessed.

He said: "It was nothing, to be honest. I think people have maybe just blown it out of proportion."

Such was the Italian manager's annoyance at the likes of McCarthy and Stoke pair Jon Walters and Marc Wilson not heading for Dublin on more than one occasion that he left them out of his squad for last month's Euro 2012 qualifiers against Slovakia and Russia.

McCarthy was ultimately drafted back into the senior party for the second game after initially reporting for duty with the Under-21s, and he is back in harness for the Group B clashes with Andorra on Friday and Armenia next Tuesday.

He added: "There were maybe a couple of wee mix-ups here and there, but to be honest, it wasn't as much as people have made it out to be.

"Everything is fine. Me and the boss get on well, as everyone gets on well with him. Nothing has been said."

Glasgow-born McCarthy, of course, found himself at the centre of a tug-of-love between Ireland and Scotland, but insisted it was always the former for whom he wanted to play and that is a decision he has never regretted.

He said: "As a young boy when I got the first call-up, I have always wanted to play for Ireland since then and I am delighted to be part of the squad. Anything that has been said in the press maybe doubting me here or there, it's just one of those things. Maybe someone has picked something up wrongly.

"I am delighted to represent Ireland and I am delighted to be here this week hopefully trying to get two wins."

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph