Scouting Report: Hendrick gets game-time ahead of double header
Ireland midfielder Hendrick, named in the 40-man provisional squad for the double header in Dublin, has yet to start a Premier League match this season but did play in Wednesday’s 3-0 bounce game win against AFC Flyde.
Republic boss McCarthy may now wait to name his final squad for the Euro qualifier against Switzerland and the Aviva Stadium friendly against Bulgaria until next Thursday.
“Jeff needs to get game time into his legs so it was great he played in the game on Wednesday,” McCarthy told the FAI.ie.
“I have no doubts about Jeff’s ability or his fitness, he has covered so much ground for us in this European Championship already as the stats prove, but like all our players, he needs to play.
“He might feature against Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday and Jeff should be involved in the League Cup game at home to Sunderland next Wednesday night which we will have scouted. I might just delay naming the final squad until after those League Cup games on Tuesday and Wednesday night to see how our players get on.”
Irish players who did get game time this week caught the eye of McCarthy and his scouts as they prepare for the big Aviva Stadium showdown with Swiss.
Jack Byrne’s two goals for Shamrock Rovers at Waterford on Monday night have been praised by the Ireland manager who has also received glowing reports on Harry Arter’s performance for Fulham in their 4-0 win at home to Millwall on Wednesday while Ireland prospect Marcus Harness impressed for Portsmouth against Sunderland on Saturday and Coventry City on Tuesday.
McCarthy himself was at The Valley on Wednesday as Josh Cullen featured prominently for Charlton in their 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest.
“Josh was brilliant for Charlton,” added McCarthy. “He has really taken to the Championship since he went back to Charlton on loan from West Ham and he was busy throughout Wednesday night’s game, playing in their diamond and getting forward at every opportunity. I was really impressed with him.
“Harry was really good against Millwall and I am going to have a look at him myself on Saturday when Fulham are at home to Forest while Jack’s two goals at Waterford on Monday were very special.
“Robbie Keane was at Preston on Wednesday for their 3-1 win against Stoke and while Sean Maguire didn’t play because of a concussion, he should be fit for the Sheffield Wednesday game this weekend. Terry Connor saw Callum O’Dowda play for 35 minutes in Bristol City’s win against Richard Keogh and Derby on Tuesday and Marcus Harness really impressed our scouts so that’s something to think about.
“Our main concern at the moment is still about players getting games but Darren Randolph and Keiren Westwood are playing well, the four Sheffield United players are all starting as is Scott Hogan while Robbie Brady is still recovering from his rib injury.
“I’ll probably see where we are after the League Cup games next week before making a final decision on the squad for Switzerland and after that, we can always add players from the provisional squad for the Bulgaria game.”
One player whose fitness is being monitored is young Spurs striker Troy Parrott who celebrated his first call-up last Friday with two goals for the Tottenham Under-23 side in a 3-1 win against Manchester City that same day – and also picked up an injury in the game.
“Troy got a dead leg in that match and we are in touch with the medical team at Spurs to see how he is doing,” said McCarthy. “He is still a doubt for their Under-23 match against Derby at Enfield on Friday afternoon but Terry Connor is going to the game.”