herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Irish recall a boost for McShane

PAUL McShane laughs about his plans for a meeting with his friend and recent club-mate Andy Robertson when the Ireland and Scotland squads meet at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.

"I'll bury him," jokes McShane (right) when asked how he would deal with Hull City man Robertson, who is likely to start at full back for Scotland in Saturday's key game in Dublin.

McShane is unlikely to get to grips with Robertson on the field as the Wicklow-born player has been the forgotten man of the Irish scene lately.

His appearance off the bench in Sunday's 0-0 draw with England was McShane's first taste of international action under Martin O'Neill and, hard as it may be to believe, his last taste of competitive international football was in that game, the away leg of the World Cup playoff against France in 2009.

"It was great to be back in the fold for the first time since that last time," says McShane, one of a handful of players who has now won caps under Steve Staunton, Giovanni Trapattoni and O'Neill.

However, the well-spoken McShane is not to seen to wade into the current controversy over FIFA's €5million payment to the FAI over the matter, McShane's vouice deserving to be heard as he was one of the 11 Irishmen on the field at the time.

"It's not really our job to get involved in all the politics going on. Obviously we would have liked to go to the World Cup.

"It's not a consolation for me. I just want to concentrate on the football side of it. The politics... I don't really get it sometimes. I just play away."

He won't start against the Scots but McShane is still eager to see the side do well. "We've got to be confident. It's a massive game, everyone knows it's a huge game," he says.

"We've had a good week's training. All we can do is make sure we're ready for the game."

This summer will be a busy one for members of the Irish squad. Two of the current panel have already moved clubs (Darren Randolph and Alex Pearce), more are likely to be involved in transfers (James McClean, David Forde) but McShane is one man definitely on the move as he's been released by Hull City.

disappointed

He's understandably disappointed to be given his papers but is confident he can secure a club without much stress.

"I was a little disappointed after everything I've been through with the club. I've been there six and a half years. I've got a real bond with the club and the fans. I'm a little bit disappointed. But that's football you know. There is no romance in the game," he says.

"There is a good bit of interest early doors. There is a few decisions to make now in the next month or so. At the start of pre-season, I want to be going with a club, I don't want to leave it.

"It looks promising, there is interest from clubs early doors. We'll wait and see. I will just turn up July 7th, blindfolded at whatever club," he joked.

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