Sheffield United: Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has performed a masterstroke by recalling David McGoldrick

Enda Stevens believes Mick McCarthy's decision to recall his Sheffield United team mate David McGoldrick could prove a masterstroke by the Republic of Ireland manager.

By James.Shield1
Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 6:29 pm

McGoldrick and Stevens are among four players from Bramall Lane to feature in McCarthy's first squad since returning to the post at the end of last year, with John Egan and the on-loan Scott Hogan also travelling to Dublin for the 2020 European Championship qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia.

McGoldrick, whose last appearance for his adopted country came nearly two years ago, has scored 12 goals since moving to Bramall Lane in July and Stevens said: "He's been excellent. He plays the striker role differently to most players, it's a different way and it benefits a lot of people around the pitch.

"He makes most of the team probably a better player because he takes the ball in tight situations, he's tricky, he gets goals. He's got a bit of everything."

Ireland begin their Group D campaign when Jeff Wood's team visits the Aviva Stadium on Saturday before Georgia travel to Dublin next week.

Although they were relegated from Nations League Group B following a dismal 2018, a run of one win from 11 games prompting Martin O'Neill's resignation, Stevens has high hopes of reaching next years finals.

Drawing parallels between United and McCarthy's team, the wing-back said: "We're not a team with the biggest names, but when we go out there and play, everyone knows their jobs, we have good relationships on the pitch and off the pitch and we just want to do well for each other.

"We're confident as players and I'm sure the manager and the staff are confident," he continued. "The group is competitive, but it is one that we feel we can do well in."

United will return to action following the international break second in the Championship table, a point ahead of third-placed Leeds, with only eight matches remaining.

"Yes, you can dream, but you just keep your feet on the ground," Stevens said. "It's an exciting time for us, it's not just here yet, so you have got to just relax and focus on something else.

"In football, it's a case of not getting too high and not getting too low. It's just swings and roundabouts.

"There are going to be massive turns, I think. With eight games left. There's still a lot of football to be played.

"We've just got to be, it's the old cliche, one game as it comes. We've got a little break away from the league now, so it's an opportunity and something to look forward to playing with Ireland."