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Saturday 3 December 2016

McCarthy: Don't quit

Midfielder hopes Irish veterans stay for World Cup campaign

The Republic of Ireland’s Séamus Coleman (r), James McCarthy (c) and Ciarán Clark depart the plane after their arrival at Dublin Airport yesterday. Pic: Sportsfile
The Republic of Ireland’s Séamus Coleman (r), James McCarthy (c) and Ciarán Clark depart the plane after their arrival at Dublin Airport yesterday. Pic: Sportsfile

James McCarthy hopes that Ireland's veterans do not decide en bloc to quit international football and instead hang around to help the side qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

The campaign to reach the finals in Russia kicks off in Belgrade in 11 weeks' time but it's likely that at least some of the Euro 2016 squad will not be around. Shay Given (40) and Robbie Keane (35) are thought to have said goodbye to the Irish support in Lyon on Sunday while John O'Shea (35) and Wes Hoolahan (34) are said to be assessing their options, although Daryl Murphy (33), Glenn Whelan and Jon Walters (both 32) may stick around.

But McCarthy is keen for the old brigade to stay involved. "I'm not sure what's going to happen," said the Everton man.

"We have a few experienced boys and a lot of people are saying 'will they move on will they not?'. Certainly, we don't want them to move on. We're happy with them here and as much experience we can get in the team the better.

"The experienced players within the squad keep us going. The likes of Robbie, Shay, Sheasy, there are so many experienced heads within that dressing room who have helped us.

"Hopefully we can see them for the World Cup campaign. It starts soon enough and hopefully they will be involved," added McCarthy.

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