James McClean: "Hopefully I did the two lads proud"

Man of the Match during Friday's scoreless draw with Wales, McClean discussed his emotions after losing friends Ryan McBride and Martin McGuinness this week

BY Newstalk 00:12 Saturday 25 March 2017, 0:12 25 Mar 2017

James McClean was visibly emotional during his post match interview this evening and discussed losing two dear friends during the week.

Derry native McClean was named Man of the Match during Ireland's scoreless draw with Wales on Friday night, a game marred by Seamus Coleman's horrific leg break midway through the second half.

The 27-year-old also had the emotional strain of losing two close friends during the week. Derry City captain Ryan McBride and political figure Martin McGuinness both passed and McClean shared his emotions after tonight's game.

"It's been very well publicized that it's been a very tough week for the town of Derry and a very tough week for myself personally," he told Sky Sports after the game.

"Two great lads that I had good relationships with passed away. Ryan, who I obviously played with at Derry City and [knew] off the field as well, Martin who was a huge figure in my life more so in the last few years.

"I got to know him really well and had a very good relationship with him. In the space of two days them two passing, it was very tough but tonight I tried to put all my emotion into my performances and hopefully I did the two lads proud."

McClean wore the number 5 on his shirt during tonight's game, the number worn by McBride and he said he would give the jersey to the family after the game.

"I thought it would be a nice touch, with the jersey if the family want it I think I should give it to them because again I think that would be a nice touch.

"It's been a tough week for all of us, but I can't imagine the pain they're going through and my thoughts are always with them."

He commented on Coleman's tackle by saying: "To be fair I haven't seen him. I don't want to come on here and ridicule [Neil Taylor] for the tackle. He knows himself it was a bad tackle, so I'll leave it at that."


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