Mick McCarthy plays down Luca Connell call-up


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Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy suggests there is nothing ‘mischievous’ in the call-up of Luca Connell to the Republic of Ireland squad ahead of the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers.

The Bolton Wanderers teenager is set to link up with McCarthy’s squad as they head to the Algarve for a trainer camp ahead of next month’s games with Denmark and Gibraltar.

Connell was not named in the provisional squad earlier in the month but having impressed at his club this season, the manager was keen to have a closer look at the 18-year-old.

He has already represented Ireland at Under-17 and Under-19 level and McCarthy says there is nothing ulterior in now adding the Liverpool-born youngster to his senior training camp.

Ireland have lost the likes of Jack Grealish and Declan Rice to England in recent times, after both players enjoyed successful underage stints in green, but the manager isn’t attempting to avoid a repeat.

“I’ve not brought him in for that,” said McCarthy to RTE Sport. “I’ve brought him into the full squad and I’m hoping that he wants to be there.

“He was playing for the Under-17s so as far as I’m concerned, he is Irish and he wants to play for Ireland.”

The Ireland manager would not rule out Connell featuring in one or both of the games next month, should he merit inclusion. “Who knows? If he rips it up and is the best player in training next week,” he added.

“So if he gets a game in any of the games, he will get it on merit, it’s not me being mischievous.” McCarthy’s side are 151.00 to win the Euro 2020 Finals next summer.

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