McClean could handle international stage - O'Neill

Tue, 07 Feb 15:25:26 2012

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill has urged Republic of Ireland counterpart Giovanni Trapattoni not to forget James McClean as he draws up his plans for Euro 2012.

The 22-year-old Derry-born winger, who was signed by O'Neill's predecessor Steve Bruce, has been a massive hit since being thrust into the limelight by O'Neill shortly before Christmas.

McClean continued his spectacular emergence with a match-winning strike at Stoke on Saturday as speculation mounted that he could be included in Trapattoni's squad for the Republic's friendly against the Czech Republic later this month.

Having seen him handle the switch from Derry City to the Barclays Premier League without batting an eyelid, O'Neill is convinced the youngster has what it will take to make the step into senior international football.

He said: "I don't think he would have a problem with it. I can understand Trapattoni being very loyal to a group of players that he's worked with for the last two years and who have seen him through.

"But I think that they would have to have a serious look at James and the form he is showing. My own view is that he would be a genuine asset to them, but I do stress it is my own view. I am not telling Trapattoni how to conduct his affairs, which he is doing pretty well without my help."


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