Callum looks to up his Ireland game
CALLUM Robinson says he is his own toughest critic, and his mission in Tbilisi today is to try and erase the memories of last month's struggle against Switzerland.
The Sheffield United player arrived into that Dublin game as a man in form, fresh from a big money summer transfer and a first taste of the Premier League. He made little impact and was replaced in the second half before his club colleague David McGoldrick rescued a point.
It emerged afterwards that Robinson was playing through pain, but he is reluctant to cite that as an excuse. Instead, he is forthright about the failings.
"I feel like my running power was low. I wasn't getting myself in the game," he says, matter of factly. "I feel like I never got close to anyone on the pressing, defending wise. Getting close to someone, leaving something on someone, being a little bit stronger.
"It didn't work out for me on the night and it's obviously horrible to say because you want to be top of every game and the least you can do is work hard.
"I felt I wasn't in the game or close to anyone. That's just me being honest with myself. That's in me now for the next two games coming up. I want to prove it to Mick.
"The lads deserve a good performance from me. I'm always honest when I haven't had a good game and that's why I'm telling you guys that I know that I've got more to come."
McCarthy was keen on him before he arrived in the job and his positive opinion was validated by sharing a dressing room.
It also helps that Robinson has gained the experience from a run of top-flight matches. That is helping his learning process, and he doesn't have to think for long when asked about the identity of his stand-out opponent.
"It's easy to say but Van Dijk," he smiles,"He is just something else. I think I made in one run, three different runs (changes of direction) and he just covered every different angle."