Irish boss Martin O’Neill believes James McCarthy can drive the Irish to 2016 Euro finals
[quote]Once in the second half, he drove forward by 30-40 yards with the ball and those are the things he can do.[/quote]
Having regularly followed the Everton midfielder’s development this season, O’Neill has been impressed with McCarthy’s growing confidence. The Irish manager, who was once again in the stands as Everton went toe-to-toe with league leaders Chelsea, was in agreement with the glowing reviews of the Glaswegian’s performance.
Despite the game ultimately ending in a 1-0 defeat for the blues – after an injury time own goal by Everton ‘ keeper Tim Howard – O’Neill was impressed by 23 year old McCarthy’s growing ability to stamp his authority on big games.
With O’Neill and assistant manager Roy Keane pushing McCarthy to consistently force his dominance on matches, the Irish boss was suitably pleased with McCarthy’s performance at Stamford Bridge.
“He did very well and it’s about taking games by the scruff of the neck and dominating now,” explained O’Neill.
“Once in the second half, he drove forward by 30-40 yards with the ball and those are the things he can do.”
O’Neill is seeing the fruits of Roberto Martinez’s work with the Irish midfielder and has no doubt James McCarthy’s confidence is being boosted by being Everton’s first choice central midfielder.
“The longer he is playing as their first choice in the side, the more confidence he’s getting and you would think that can only benefit us.”
“What he’s doing now is taking games by scruff of the neck.”