Sheffield United: International boss says one member of Bramall Lane’s squad is a player of “wonderful ability”

Earlier this week, when Mick McCarthy named his first squad since being reappointed as Republic of Ireland manager, it became apparent just how highly he regards Chris Wilder's players.

By James Shield
Friday, 8th March 2019, 1:41 pm
Updated Friday, 8th March 2019, 1:43 pm
New Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy: Niall Carson/PA Wire
New Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy: Niall Carson/PA Wire

No club in England has more representatives in the provisional 38 man party than Sheffield United with only Burnley providing as many (four) as Bramall Lane.

Although Enda Stevens, John Egan and Scott Hogan were all expected to feature, the latter joining on loan from Aston Villa earlier this year, David McGoldrick's inclusion came as a surprise to some after he appeared to fall out of favour with McCarthy's predecessor Martin O'Neill.

Speaking earlier this term, Wilder revealed the former Ipswich Town centre-forward was being considered for a recall after making an impressive start to life with United. McGoldrick worked under McCarthy at Portman Road and the latter, who replaced O'Neill in November, briefed Wilder on the 31-year-old's character before his move to South Yorkshire during the close season.

McCarthy, whose side face Gibraltar and Georgia in UEFA 2020 qualification later this month, was effusive in his praise of McGoldrick's ability at a press conference in Dublin today, saying: "He is a player of wonderful ability; really top, top level in terms of his touch, his passing and finishing, and he really is a very talented player, gifted technically.

"I said to Chris Wilder to absolutely take him, you’d be bonkers, on a free transfer, not to take him and they’d say the same things about him now."

After scoring 11 goals in his first 30 outings for United, McGoldrick started Monday's derby against Sheffield Wednesday on the bench.

David McGoldrick: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

"I know Chris and he likes to freshen his strikers up," McCarthy said. "Gary Madine is playing and Billy Sharp’s just been brilliant, scoring his goals.

"So he’s been mixing it up and Didsy is just having to wait his turn. But, if anything, I’m cool with that because he’ll be fresh. It’s not like he hasn’t been playing games. 

"This season has probably been his best in terms of appearances, for a long time anyway. And he played well when he came on (against Wednesday). He’s a good player, Didsy, a really good footballer."

Scott Hogan: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
John Egan: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Enda Stevens: Simon Bellis/Sportimage