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Mick McCarthy on Ronan Curtis: 'He gets goals and I really like that in a wide player'

Mon, Mar 11 2019

Curtis pictured with his mother Marie Kelly following Ireland under-21s' 1-0 European Championship qualifying win over Azerbaijan in 2018. Credit: Michael P Ryan (ETPhotos)

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy watched Portsmouth striker Ronan Curtis net his 12th goal of the season in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Charlton Athletic.

The newly-appointed McCarthy took in Bohemians’ 1-1 draw with Curtis’ former side Derry City on Friday evening before flying to London to take in the League One clash.

And the Yorkshireman was impressed by what he saw from Croyden-born, Donegal-raised Curtis, particularly his ratio of goals as an inverted left winger in Kenny Jackett’s side.

McCarthy’s comments suggest that the St Johnston man will be in the reckoning for one of the three attacking positions when Ireland face Gibraltar in their first Euro 2020 qualifier later this month.

“Ronan has 12 goals now for Portsmouth as they push for a return to the Championship and many of them have been special,” McCarthy told the FAI’s website.

“His latest goal, on Saturday, was definitely in that category. It was a real bullet header and one that the goalkeeper was never going to stop.

“He’s naturally a wide player, as we have seen on the many occasions we have watched him this season, but Ronan is a real goal threat as well.

“He’s a right-footer playing on the left and he is always looking to cut in from the wing behind the full-back and get into scoring positions inside the six-yard box.

“It is very difficult for defenders to cope with an elusive player who drifts in like that. It’s why Ronan gets so many goals and I really like that in a wide player.”

Saturday’s defeat saw Pompey slip eight points behind Barnsley in the automatic promotion places with ten games to play, but the south coast team look virtually assured of a play-off spot.