'He has never been mentioned by my lips' - No Keane talk

Newly appointed Ireland manager Mick McCarthy with assistant coaches Terry Connor, left, and Robbie Keane

 Mick McCarthy is convinced that he can put together an Irish squad with the ability to score goals.

And he will not be bemoaning the absence of a new Robbie Keane as he plots the way forward.

The Ireland manager named the maiden squad of his second spell in charge yesterday, although his provisional list for the opening Euro 2020 qualifiers with Gibraltar and Georgia will be cut from 38 to 23 next week.

That means that Luton's James Collins and Newport County's Pádraig Amond will face an anxious wait to see if they have made the final cut.

McCarthy's search for a front man has forced him to look down the leagues, yet he is confident that he has players in the wider group that can hit the net.


Ireland failed to score in Martin O'Neill's last four games in the job with the Derryman speaking consistently about how he missed having a talent like Keane available.

His successor chose to speak positively about his options as the campaign kick-off draws closer.

"He (Keane) has never been mentioned by my lips," he said. "This squad have goals in them. David McGoldrick (Sheffield United) has been scoring goals Callum O'Dowda (Bristol City) has been in the goals. Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth) has scored.

"Alan Browne has got 11 goals this season for Preston. Conor Hourihane got two last week for Aston Villa. Seán Maguire's been scoring goals."

McCarthy has told Leeds attacker Patrick Bamford that he wants him on board for June's trip to Denmark.

Bamford has indicated that he will declare for Ireland but the pair need to meet to confirm the details.