McCarthy not reading too much into Parrott’s friendly showings
Ireland boss says teenage striker will be a ‘shoo-in’ if he plays for Spurs in Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur’s Troy Parrott challenges for the ball with Manchester United’s Chris Smalling during the International Champions Cup match at the Shanghai Hongkou Stadium in Shanghai, China. Photograph: Di Yin/Getty Images
Mick McCarthy insists he is not reading too much yet into Troy Parrott’s progress at Tottenham after the 17-year-old again featured for the first team on Thursday but the Republic of Ireland manager says that if he nails down a starting slot come the first day of the Premier League season then the Dubliner will be “a shoo-in” for the senior Ireland squad.
Parrott started up front alongside England captain Harry Kane in Spurs’ 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in Shanghai in the International Champions Cup, playing the first half before being replaced by Eric Lamela
“Pre-season friendlies mean nothing to me,” said McCarthy at Tully Park, home of Trim Celtic, where he was taking part in an FAI Festival of Football event. “I didn’t like playing in them as a player as they didn’t mean anything [other than] a way of getting fit.
“For young players, though, it’s a way of getting a game, so for Troy it is a really big thing. Whether he starts on the 10th of August, though, who knows? But it’s great for his development and progression. And if he is playing in the first game of the season, if he is starting and playing for Spurs, he’ll have to be a shoo-in for the squad.”
Although that still seems a long shot, the Dubliner featuring in some way in or around the first team certainly seems more plausible than before he started in the International Champions Cup.
Any level of real Premier League recognition would, McCarthy, suggested, put the young striker firmly on his radar, although he would then have to prove he has really has already acquired what it takes to play international football.
“He’s got to be playing really, to play. But if he is in the squad with Spurs with a chance of coming on – Mauricio Pochettino has proved to be a great coach, so I’m not going to be daft enough to suggest he isn’t good enough to come and play. It’s like James McCarthy, though, you have to play.”
McCarthy said that he would not ordinarily be hugely concerned by a player’s age but pointed out that there is a certain amount of pressure just now with Ireland heading into a series of key qualifying games.
“I’ve never been that bothered [with their age] if they are good enough,” he said. “Robbie played at an early age, I remember playing all those players when they were young . . . but I did have a lot more leeway back then.
“I’ve got no leeway now with the Switzerland game. We need to get points on the board. I need to see who is fit and who is playing.”