Mick McCarthy feels Portsmouth’s Ronan Curtis can help remedy Republic of Ireland’s goal troubles
Mick McCarthy believes Ronan Curtis can help the Republic of Ireland hit the goal trail in their bid to qualify for next year’s European Championships.
Curtis had been involved in previous manager Martin O’Neill’s past four squads, making his senior debut as a half-time substitute in the 0-0 friendly draw with Northern Ireland in November.
In total, he’s been capped twice for his country.
The 22-year-old has enjoyed a superb maiden season in League One after moving to the Blues from Derry last summer.
He’s scored 11 goals and created 15 during Kenny Jacket’s side’s promotion push.
The Republic of Ireland are aiming to reach their first major tournament since the 2016 Euros.
The Green Army missed out on a place at last year’s World Cup and also finished bottom of their group in the maiden UEFA Nations League campaign with just two points towards the end of 2018.
Ireland have failed to score in their past four matches, which, naturally, has supporters concerned.
But new-man McCarthy is confident there are goals in his squad – with Curtis someone he feels can deliver in the final third.
He said: ‘There are goals in the squad, in terms of players who have been scoring this year.
‘David McGoldrick’s been scoring goals, Callum O’Dowda has been in the goals, Ronan Curtis has scored.
‘You can say it’s Portsmouth, you can say it’s Bristol City but … Alan Browne’s got 12 goals this season, Conor Hourihane got two last week.
‘Sean Maguire’s been scoring goals, too. Can they bring that to the international team? Can I get it out of them?
‘Can I get them to score goals? Can we play a way that enables them to score goals? We’ll find out but yes (we can).
‘Robbie Keane had that happy knack and everyone wants that - everyone needs a scorer. We're here to win games.’
Curtis is due to miss Pompey’s trip to Shrewsbury on March 23 but will be back in time for the Checkatrade Trophy final against Sunderland (March 31).