'I would be bonkers to leave o...

Soccer

'I would be bonkers to leave out Shane Duffy' - Mick McCarthy

Ben Finnegan
Ben Finnegan

03:20 11 Oct 2019


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Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy says he would "be bonkers to leave" Shane Duffy out of his starting line up for Saturday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Georgia.

The team has traveled to Tbilisi, with the Brighton and Hove Albion centre-back a late inclusion after being passed fit to play by his club's doctors on Wednesday.

"It would kind of ridiculous of me, the way he's played, the way he's performed if he's fit for him not to be in my team," said Mick McCarthy to a press conference. "If you're looking for one starter, then Shane Duffy."

Question marks have reigned over who will start at the left side of the defense for the suspended Enda Stevens with Wolves' Matt Doherty believed to be the front runner. However, McCarthy says it's not a foregone conclusion.

"I've got a couple of options, I've been impressed actually with Derrick Williams, coming in. He's trained exceptionally well.

"But, Matt Doherty can play either full-back. He did it for a couple of years for Wolves very successfully, so it's nice to have a couple of options."

The inclusion of Aaron Connolly into the team following his two goals against Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend for his club Brighton has sparked some optimism. However, whether he will play against Georgia on Saturday remains to be seen.

"I did have a concern about James McClean and I said he had a stiff back at the beginning of the week, but he's recovering and he's training just as well as he ever has. I know Aaron can play on the left, that's where I first saw him.

"He was devastating from that position playing to be quite honest for the under-21s. He plays upfront in a two with Brighton, so that's an option as well. He's looked very good in training, he hasn't looked out of place at all.

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Aaron Connolly David McGoldrick Derrick Williams Georgia James Mcclean Mick McCarthy Republic Of Ireland Shane Duffy Euro 2020

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