Ireland star James McClean pays tribute to SAFC boss Martin O’Neill
EURO 2012-bound James McClean has paid tribute to “tremendous” Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill for helping him fulfil his Republic of Ireland dream.
McClean’s place at the summer’s European Championships in Poland and Ukraine was confirmed yesterday after the Sunderland winger was included in Ireland’s 23-man squad along with Black Cats team-mates John O’Shea and Keiren Westwood.
It caps a stunning six months for the 23-year-old, who was only handed his Premier League bow in O’Neill’s first game in charge last December.
McClean said: “He’s been tremendous to me. He presented me with my opportunity to play in the first team and I think I took full advantage of that.
“He’s kept me on the ‘straight and narrow’ since then and has helped me improve as a footballer.
“I try to work hard on my game week-in and week-out in order to improve and I think that has worked for me.
“Martin O’Neill’s appointment has certainly boosted my confidence levels and I can’t thank the man enough.
“To be called up to represent Ireland has always been a personal dream of mine and to be associated with players who I have watched myself is very special. I can’t wait to join up with the squad and start to focus on the Championships.”
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Monday 20 May 2013
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