THE ONGOING JAMES MCCARTHY saga took another twist this morning as the Wigan man was included in Giovanni Trapattoni’s squad for the October qualifiers against Armenia and Andorra.
McCarthy was initially left out of the recent squad for the games against Slovakia and Russia after pulling out of a number of friendlies with questionable injuries.
However, it seems the Ireland manager is now satisfied with McCarthy’s commitment after he recently turned out for the U21s and was then drafted in for the trip to Moscow at the eleventh hour.
McCarthy takes his place in an Ireland squad buoyed by the recent draw away to Russia that keeps Trap’s men in a good position to take second place and an outside chance of topping the group.
Just three points separate the top top four teams going into the final two rounds of games, with Armenia and Slovakia both a point behind Ireland who trail Russia by two.
Announcing the squad earlier today, Trapattoni warned against lapses in concentration at this crucial stage of qualification.
It is vital that we keep focused as we reach our final two games of this campaign. We will approach them one game at a time. It is also important for us to concentrate on our own results, rather than what is happening in the group. We do not underestimate any of our opponents.
Ireland play Andorra away on 7 October before facing off against Armenia in the Aviva on 11 October.
Ireland squad in full: Shay Given, Kieran Westwood, David Forde, John O’Shea, Kevin Foley, Stephen Kelly, Stephen Ward, Richard Dunne, Kevin Kilbane, Sean St. Ledger, Darren O’Dea, Damien Delaney, Glen Whelan, James McCarthy, Seamus Coleman, Keith Andrews, Keith Fahey, Andy Keogh, Damien Duff, Aiden McGeady, Stephen Hunt, Liam Lawrence, Robbie Keane, Kevin Doyle, Shane Long, Simon Cox, Jon Walters.