Sheffield United: David McGoldrick's Ireland exploits will benefit The Blades, insists Bramall Lane team mate
Enda Stevens believes his Sheffield United team mate David McGoldrick will return to Bramall Lane an even better player after scoring the Republic of Ireland's equaliser during their crucial Euro 2020 qualifier against Switzerland.
McGoldrick cancelled-out Fabian Schar's strike with only five minutes of normal time remaining inside the Aviva Stadium last night, ensuring Mick McCarthy's side remain on course to reach next year's finals.
It was the 31-year old's first international goal and opened his account for the campaign after failing to score in his last four Premier League outings with United.
Although Stevens insisted McGoldrick's approach to the game means it is unfair to judge him on those numbers alone, he said: "I was buzzing for him. It was a great goal and you could see by his celebration and his reaction what it meant for him.
"It's hard for him because he's an all-round striker. He drops into pockets and he works so hard to get everyone else playing.
"For him to be in the box, back stick, to win the header, it was great for him. It'll only give him confidence now moving forward."
After starting United's opening three matches of the new season, McGoldrick, a driving force behind their promotion from the Championship last term, was named on the bench when Chris Wilder's side drew with Chelsea six days ago. If he also hits the target during Tuesday's friendly against Bulgaria, United's manager could be tempted to hand McGoldrick a recall ahead of next weekend's meeting with Southampton.
Barring injury or illness, Stevens is certain to feature in Wilder's first choice eleven following a string of exceptional displays at wing-back. The former Portsmouth defender has been United's best and most consistent performer since their return to the top-flight, helping his colleagues climb to 10th in the table.
With John Egan and Callum Robinson also called-up by McCarthy, United could have at least four representatives at the UEFA tournament if Ireland qualify. Muhamed Bešić, on loan from Everton, was an unused substitute as Bosnia and Herzegovina beat Liechtenstein to climb to third in their group while Oli McBurnie is on duty with Scotland.
Stevens, who will be suspended for next month's pivotal trip to Georgia, is confident McCarthy's men can achieve their objective.
"They all are at the minute," he replied, after being asked if the match was of huge significance. "There are not many of them left. A point on the board is a point closer to where we want to be and we'll move on now to the next game. We'll always feel confident. We go until the end."