David Wilson reports from the Aviva Stadium
Mick McCarthy faced the media for the first time since coming back from training camp at the Quinta do Lago training complex in the Algarve. A weeklong training camp encouraged camaraderie and aimed to strengthen the bond throughout the squad, but it was a case of who wasn’t there which made headlines.
Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford is one such absence with McCarthy keen to stress whose court the ball lay in. “I think Patrick has to give me a call if he wants to… I think that’s the way it works now, bearing in mind all the conversation I’ve had with him. I left it with him (Bamford), if he feels ready that he wants to come and do it, then give me a call.”
Patrick Bamford has long been linked with declaring for the Boys in Green, having represented Ireland first at under-18 level before then going on to play for England under-19s and then going on to work with current England manager Gareth Southgate in the under-21 set-up.
Citing the length of time Bamford has mulled over this decision, first being contacted by the stewardship of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane in March of 2018 and then by current boss McCarthy at the beginning of this year, the Yorkshireman appears to be losing patience slightly. McCarthy jovially remarked, “the length of time it takes… I might be out of here before that (Bamford declaration) happens.”
Bamford made 24 appearances for Leeds United under the tutelage of maverick Marcelo Bielsa, getting on the scoresheet ten times in a season which was interrupted by injuries. The Grantham-born striker qualifies through the grandparent rule and came through at the famed academy of Nottingham forest before moving to Chelsea for £1.5 million where he failed to make a first team appearance.
With no decision on the horizon, McCarthy will have welcomed the return to form of Shane Long towards the end of the season. David McGoldrick who was man-of-the-match against Georgia in March will also feel he will hold the initiative to claim the starting spot, whereas Scott Hogan and Sean Maguire will also look to build on their international career over the next two games away to Denmark and at home to Gibraltar.
Mick McCarthy was speaking at the Aviva stadium at the culmination of the Spar primary schools 5 aside competition.