Mick McCarthy remains hopeful that James McClean will make Slovakia playoff

Stoke winger suffered medial knee ligament injury against Preston on Wednesday

 James McClean injured a medial ligament during Stoke’s game against Preston North End on Wednesday. Photograph:   Gareth Copley/Getty Images

James McClean injured a medial ligament during Stoke’s game against Preston North End on Wednesday. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

 

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy is hopeful that James McClean will recover from the medial knee ligament injury sustained during Stoke’s Championship game against Preston North End on Wednesday in time for the Euro2020 playoff game against Slovakia at the end of March.

McClean’s club has said that the Derryman faces “several weeks” on the sidelines as a result of the problem but the player has clearly not given up on making the game, which will take place in Bratislava on March 26th.

“I’ve been in contact with James since he got injured,” said McCarthy, who is due to name his squad for the game 10 days earlier. “He’s told me he will do everything he can to get on the plane to Bratislava next month and I’d expect nothing less from him.

“James has been a key player for me throughout this European Championship campaign,” continued the Ireland manager, “and we will support him all the way with his recovery.”

McClean was, in fact, one of four players who played every minute of Ireland’s group stage campaign. If the team beats Slovakia, it will take on either Bosnia-Herzegovina or Northern Ireland, in what will be another away tie, five days later, for a place at this summer’s tournament.

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