Saturday, June 30, 2012

James McClean already focused on Irish World Cup qualifying campaign

Ireland international James McClean is already focused on Ireland's upcoming World Cup qualifying campaign and is hoping that Giovanni Trapattoni gives him the game time so he can show some of the excellent form witnessed at club level last season.

The Derry born winger saw only 14 minutes of competitive action for Ireland in the European Championships but is keen to claim a starting berth in the qualifiers which starts away to Kazakhstan in September.

Many were surprised that McClean played such a peripheral role during the Euro finals and it is hoped that after such a poor performance by the Irish team in Poland that Trapattoni will realise that changes are required if the team is to progress to the World Cup finals in Brazil in 2014.

The Ireland friendly away to Serbia in August will be an interesting guide to see if Trap is prepared to change his rigid selection policy and start young, talented prospects like James McClean and Wigan's James McCarthy.

“We have to do our best to qualify,” McClean said. “Germany are flying at the minute and Sweden are a tough side but there are other good teams there also and we know it’s not going to be easy.

“But we have to take confidence into it and believe that we can qualify. The World Cup is the biggest stage in the world and you can show what you can do. I want to be there with Ireland.

“It was great to get my competitive debut against Spain but on a personal level I was disappointed not to get more playing time,” he added. “I always thought I would get a run-out at some stage.

“I was disappointed when I didn’t get the start against Spain because, just like any player, you want to play as many minutes as possible.

“When the manager told me I was coming on during the Spain match it was obviously exciting, but it was no surprise that he didn’t make changes because he said that he was going to use the players that had got Ireland there.

“It was disappointing but understandable that he stuck with the players.

“Hopefully as we go on I can get more playing time and repay the confidence they’ve shown in me,” he concluded.