Ireland's 1-0 win over Lithuania didn't inspire anyone, but Troy Parrott's moment at the end of the game will do wonders for him.
Dan McDonnell joined The Football Show on Wednesday night to react to Ireland's win over Lithuania.
It's been suggested that Ireland's lack of edge upfront will cost some players opportunities moving forward. Wigan striker Will Keane had a poor game on an important night for him. He was nervous on the ball and never got any real opportunities to make his presence felt in the box.
Keane wasn't the reason Ireland struggled to score for so long, but he will need to play better moving forward if he's going to continue to be a member of the squad. Whereas Troy Parrott's late goal and impact off the bench reminded everyone of his potential.
Parrott is only 20 years of age yet a level of exasperation has grown around him in recent times. His lack of success at club level is disappointing. It's compounded by the fact he's in the senior international squad so he can't show off how far ahead of his peers he is at under-21 level.
On Tuesday, Keane likely moved behind Parrott in the pecking order. Dan McDonnell believes that's more a reflection of Parrott's potential and less of a knock on Keane based on one game.
"It was a tough evening for him," McDonnell said.
"I'm not sure that the perception of Keane is that he's a big man. He is, he obviously has a presence. Listening to Kenny talk about him, he acknowledged he had a bad game and he's more talented than that. But he was actually speaking beforehand about his link play...I think the intention would be that he could come a little bit deeper so you'd get some runners off him.
"As it happened the type of big man you needed in that game was someone who devoured crosses in the box."
McDonnell said he'd be slow to condemn Keane. The game itself shouldn't act as proof that Keane isn't good enough for this level. While he is right that it would be unfair to write him off, Keane is unlikely to get many more opportunities for Ireland. He started the lesser friendly but if Adam Idah returns healthy he won't be in contention for that spot.
If Idah is healthy and Parrott is trusted, then Keane is down the pecking order.
"You'd imagine if Ireland were playing again in three days time, it would be Troy Parrott starting in that scenario and not Keane...there's such interest in Parrott because of how much he was talked about at 17. We all played our part, media and everyone got very excited.
"But it wasn't just Irish interest. There was English interest as well.
"His exploits at youth level were very exciting...Both Kenny and Keith Andrews have gone out of their way to celebrate his character. They speak about how popular he is in the group. There probably has been an undertone around the discussion of Parrott, a question of is his head fully screwed on?...but they've gone out of their way to say he's a great lad."
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