Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy has conceded that James McCarthy’s lack of playing time at Crystal Palace makes it difficult for him to pick him.
The 28-year-old has had horrible luck with injuries over the years and he has been limited to just six appearances so far this season for the Eagles.
Even more damaging for his cause to get back into the picture for Ireland is the fact that he has totalled just 59 minutes of playing time in the Premier League, with every appearance coming late on off the bench.
In turn, McCarthy has conceded that his namesake would struggle to get into his starting XI even if he was named in his squad, and has suggested that he’ll need to get more minutes under his belt to make a stronger case to break back into his plans.
“I’m not convinced he’d get in anyway,” he said, as quoted by the Irish Mirror. “The three lads who have been playing – (Glenn) Whelan, (Jeff) Hendrick and (Conor) Hourihane – have been different class playing for me.
“The other two lads against Bulgaria – Josh Cullen and Browny (Alan Browne) did really well and Jack (Byrne) did his bit really well.
“So why would I change it? James has hardly played any football since he’s gone to Crystal Palace.”
Time will tell if the situation changes for McCarthy at Palace, as if it doesn’t and he harbours hopes of representing his country again, he may well need to start considering his options and gain a more prominent role elsewhere.
It’s difficult to disagree with the Ireland boss and his reasoning for the omission, and he will surely receive no complaints from the player himself either as he will be fully aware that he needs to be playing more often to warrant a spot in the squad.