John Egan hoping to get Ireland chance against Bulgaria

Mick McCarthy is expected to make changes as Robinson and McGoldrick drop out

Ireland’s John Egan in training ahead of the friendly clash with Bulgaria in Dublin. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland’s John Egan in training ahead of the friendly clash with Bulgaria in Dublin. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Richard Keogh will rejoin the Irish squad this evening after having spent a couple of days with his family in England. The other 21 remaining members of the Irish squad are training on Sunday afternoon before returning to the team hotel where they are expected to watch the game between Georgia and Denmark.

There are no significant injury concerns for Mick McCarthy who is expected to make quite a few changes to his starting line up for Tuesday’s friendly game against Bulgaria.

Amongst those hoping to feature over the course of the evening are Sheffield United defender John Egan whose club mates – Callum Robinson and David McGoldrick – have stayed in England to have treatment on injuries and are both out of Tuesday’s game. McCarthy is not expected to call up anymore players before the game.

Egan has a couple of caps to his name already but is being kept out of McCarthy’s starting line up for the team’s competitive games by Keogh. His form for United, though, has kept him very much in contention for that second slot, alongside Shane Duffy, and the 26-year-old believes that the fact he is playing in the Premier Division now will only help him to progress over the coming months.

“It is the league every player wants to be playing in,” he says, “we’ve made a good start and I’m happy with my own form so far. It is more mentally demanding to play in, I think. In my position, you have to be more focused because if you switch off even for a second and give a striker a chance then you know they are likely to take it, that’s the difference.

“But if you are playing against the top teams every week then you are being asked different questions all the time because you are playing against the best players and that can only improve me.”

He will, he says, be playing against them next Saturday when the All Ireland football final replay is on and so there will be no repeat visit to Croke Park. “It was great to get to the first game but I don’t think I’ll be making it along to this one,” he says. “I think it’s on TV a couple of hours after our game so I’ll get to see it then. The Southampton game, though, will be my main focus this time.”

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