Sheffield United: Enda Stevens sets sights on becoming Republic of Ireland's first-choice left-back under Mick McCarthy
Sheffield United defender Enda Stevens has set his sights on becoming the Republic of Ireland’s first-choice left-back under new boss Mick McCarthy.
The 28-year-old is set to earn his latest cap for his country tomorrow evening when McCarthy’s men face Georgia in Dublin, after featuring in their 1-0 victory over Gibraltar on Saturday.
Stevens’ international goal has been made a little more straightforward by Stephen Ward's decision to retire from Republic of Ireland duty, and the Blades full-back was buoyed by a personal phone call from McCarthy soon after he returned to the Irish hotseat to replace Martin O’Neill.
Stevens, though, isn’t expecting to become first-choice too easily.
“Well, football doesn’t really look like that,” he said.
“The position is up for grabs and it is down to me.
“If I do well and I get a chance, I have to take it. If I don’t, someone else will.
“You’re not given anything. You have to earn and work for it and that’s exactly what me and every single player in the camp has to do.
“It is a fresh slate and he [McCarthy] is going to base his team on what he sees in training, so you have to make sure you are at it.
“If I am, then I’ll feel like I’ve earned it.
“You don’t earn anything over the course of a season anywhere else.”