James McClean retaining hope of Euro 2012 place with Republic of Ireland

 

Republic of Ireland new boy James McClean returned to Sunderland determined to force his way into Giovanni Trapattoni's Euro 2012 plans.

The 22-year-old winger was handed a senior international debut as a 79th-minute substitute in last night's 1-1 friendly draw with the Czech Republic at the Aviva Stadium.

Trapattoni has hinted strongly that his squad and indeed his team is already selected, but as long as there is a chance, McClean is hoping he can continue to make an impression.

He said: "That's not my decision, it's the manager's decision. For any player, it's a dream to play for your country at a major tournament.

"I'll just continue to play well for Sunderland week in, week out and come the summer, you never know."

McClean's arrival as a replacement for Aiden McGeady was greeted by an ovation from a crowd of 37,742 to leave the youngster in little doubt as to the esteem in which he is held by his countrymen.

He said: "It was goosebumps, it was a tremendous reception. It's an honour to play for my country and something I have dreamed of growing up as a fan.

"That reception is something that will be with me for the rest of my life."

Ireland were trailing to Milan Baros' 50th-minute strike when McClean got his big chance, and they could not have complained after being outplayed for long periods.

However, they finished the game strongly and finally got their reward with just four minutes remaining.

West Brom striker Simon Cox, who had come on for skipper Robbie Keane with 71 minutes played, took Keith Andrews' pass in his stride and, after cutting inside defender Tomas Sivok, beat keeper Petr Cech at his bear post to snatch a draw.

Trapattoni, who started with his strongest available team, was happy enough with the result against a team which will also compete in Poland and Ukraine this summer.

He said: "We had an opportunity to look at other players, but also look at the result because that gives us confidence and gives us security about our system and attitude.

"I am happy because I didn't think it would be a walk in the park. This (the Czech Republic) is a strong team, they have very young and important players playing across Europe.

"We had a good reaction in the second half with personality, and we didn't let go of our willingness to play and be aggressive.

"They dominated us and we had a good reaction and deserved to get the draw. We increased our pressing and I am happy at the moment in the belief."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones