"Football gets parked at the door now, good or bad" - James McClean on how his priorities changed

West Brom and Ireland winger chats to Nathan after a big week in his international career

BY Raf Diallo 20:31 Thursday 12 October 2017, 20:31 12 Oct 2017

West Bromwich Albion's James McClean during the Premier League match at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich. Mike Egerton/PA Wire/PA Images

After his crucial intervention for Ireland in Cardiff, James McClean can head into the next few weeks of club duty with a spring his step.

The West Brom winger chatted to Nathan about his winner against Wales that sealed Ireland's place in a 2018 FIFA World Cup playoff tie but also talked about his club situation where he hasn't been getting as much game time under manager Tony Pulis. 

"The more games you play in a row, the more you pick up sharpness and confidence," he said. 

"Look, it's been frustrating club-wise because I want to be playing every single game and I'm not. We've got a big squad at club level and I played the first three and we actually won the first games. I lost my place for whatever reason."

He added that his task now is to get the head down, stay positive and try and regain that starting place for West Brom, pointing out that he does get on well with manager Pulis.

"He's not the type of manager that bows to pressure. The best way you're going to play is if he sees fit. Like I said at the minute, it's been frustrating. But for me, it's just about keeping my head down and trying to do the best I can and show that I'm not happy to just sit on the bench, I want to be playing," said the 28 year old.

West Bromwich Albion's James McClean (left) and Chelsea's Victor Moses battle for the ball. David Davies/EMPICS Sport

November often brings up other issues around McClean while playing in the Premier League in regards to the whole poppy debate. The Derry native does not wear jerseys with the poppy imprinted which has led to abuse from certain quarters. He discussed the parallels in terms of making a stand with the example from the NFL in the USA and the "take a knee" protest movement which began with Colin Kaepernick.

"Of course I've seen it. It's in the news, you know, and it's kind of hard not to see it," he said.

"Look, I've got great people around me and my family and my friends, people that matter most. They support me. For me, that's all that matters and if people want to support me, then great. If people don't, then I'm not going to lose any sleep."

He also spoke about how starting his own family has helped put those matters well behind him, saying, "Since I've had my first daughter, I made a decision there and then that was going to change because there's more important things in life than football. Football's great but at the end of the day, my kids and my family are more important, so if I was coming home and beat myself up then it wouldn't be fair on them. Football gets parked at the door now, good or bad, it gets parked at the door. I'm a family man first and foremost and I'm a daddy first and foremost, my kids are all that matter, so in that sense it's been the best thing that ever happened to me." 

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