Mick McCarthy sees Kieran Sadlier score as he narrows down squad for crunch Euro 2020 qualifiers

Sun, Sep 22 2019

Kieran Sadlier with the match ball following his hat-trick at the end of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division game between Cork City and Bray Wanderers on Friday 26th October 2018 at Turners Cross, Cork. Mandatory Credit: Michael P Ryan. Credit: Michael P Ryan (ETPhotos)

Mick McCarthy watched Kieran Sadlier score in Doncaster Rovers’ 2-0 win over Peterborough United as he narrows down his squad for next month’s Euro qualifiers against Georgia and Switzerland.

The former Cork City and Sligo Rovers playmaker was named in the extended squad for last month’s games with the Swiss and Bulgaria but didn’t make the final 23-man squad.

25-year-old Sadlier has been in sparkling form for Donnie this season, with three goals in his eight league appearances to date.

The third of those came in his most recent outing, on the wing, as he returned to haunt another of his former clubs by adding to James Coppinger’s first-half opener.

“I’ll name the squad for Georgia and Switzerland on Tuesday week and I wanted to have a look at Kieran for myself,” McCarthy told the FAI’s website.

“Terry Connor had heard good things about him from the Doncaster coaching staff and our scouts had seen him but I wanted to have a look at him with my own two eyes.

“I know all about the other options available to us so this trip to Doncaster made sense.

“Kieran played well. He’s been operating on the right side of late having started the season as a centre-forward and he took his goal well.”

McCarthy’s scouts also watched another Cork City alumnus, Sean Maguire, as he scored the only goal in Preston North End’s win at Birmingham, his third of the season.

Maguire was forced to withdraw from the last squad after picking up a freak eye injury in training but has found form since returning to the Preston side last week.

“Sean scored again as well which is great news. He was very unlucky with the injury that kept him out of the Swiss and Bulgaria games.

“It’s good to see him back and in the goals again while Callum Robinson is also fit and back in the Sheffield United team.”

The Ireland manager is also keeping an eye on his other striking options as Ireland under-21 cap Aaron Connolly made his second appearance for Brighton & Hove Albion against Newcastle.

“Aaron was the one who really caught the eye with the 21s against Armenia,” McCarthy said.

“He is getting game time in the Premier League now with Brighton which will really benefit him and us and he was unlucky not to score at Newcastle.

“We are talking to Spurs and Terry will watch Troy [Parrott] this week in the Under 23 game at Blackburn on Monday or the Football League Cup match against Colchester on Tuesday night if he is involved in that one.”

Assistant manager Terry Connor was at Blackburn Rovers’ 3-1 win over Reading as Greg Cunningham, Derrick Williams and Darragh Lenihan all featured.

“With Enda Stevens suspended for the Georgia game, we are looking at left-back options,” he added.

“Terry saw Greg play there for Blackburn, we had James watched for Stoke and I saw Ryan Manning play for QPR against Luton last week.”