What Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy said about Portsmouth duo Ronan Curtis and Marcus Harness following Fratton Park visit
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Eire travel to Bratislava on Thursday, March 26, for the right to play either Northern Ireland or Bosnia in their respective play-off final.
McCarthy is currently mulling over his options for the possible double-header, with the final to be played on Tuesday, March 31.
And part of that process included a trip to Fratton Park on Saturday to check out Pompey’s 2-0 win against Shrewsbury.
Top of his agenda was Curtis, who has been in fine form for Kenny Jackett’s side in recent weeks and has 13 goals in 36 appearances for the Blues this season.
McCarthy was also keen to check out Marcus Harness, who made his first league start since the 1-0 win at Bolton on January 18, and Shrews keeper Max O’Leary.
Summer-signing Harness, who remains uncapped, is considered on for the ‘future’ by McCarthy.
However, Curtis’ recent performances means he could be included in the next all-important Republic of Ireland get-together, after missing out in November for the games against New Zealand and Denmark respectively.
Speaking about the former Derry City winger’s form, McCarthy told the FAI website: ‘Ronan is making his claim for the play-off.
‘He didn’t score against Shrewsbury but you could see how confident he is at the minute.
‘He’s on top form with Pompey and he did well on Saturday, as did Marcus Harness who may well feature for us in the future.’
Since missing out on the games against New Zealand and Denmark, Curtis has scored 10 goals in 19 Blues appearances.
He’s also produced eight assists as Pompey continue their push for League One promotion – and been awarded with a new three-and-a-half year contract at Fratton Park.
The 23-year-old has three Republic of Ireland caps, with his last appearance coming against Bulgaria in September, a game Curtis started.
If called up to the latest Eire squad, the winger could miss the trip to Oxford on March 28, depending on the result against Slovakia.