Given surprised by McCarthy withdrawal

08 February 2011 09:00
Shay Given reacted to the withdrawal of Wigan midfielder James McCarthy from the Republic of Ireland squad by questioning the hunger of young players. McCarthy, 20, who scored twice in a 4-3 win over Blackburn on Saturday, was withdrawn by relegation-threatened Latics manager Roberto Martinez ahead of the Carling Nations Cup game against Wales at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday night. The midfielder only recently returned after a three-month lay-off with an ankle injury and took a couple of hefty knocks during the match against Rovers. At a press conference in Dublin, Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni appeared unhappy about the former Hamilton player's absence. Veteran keeper Given, who is Ireland's most-capped player with 109 appearances, believes attitudes may have changed since he started out in his international career. "I don't know what his situation is but, as the manager says, he (McCarthy) is very young," he said. "When I was very young I was very excited to be in the squad but maybe young players' mentalities have changed since I was 20 or 21. But we would take him with open arms because he is a quality player. "We hope he is going to be a big part of the future. I think he will be an important player for us in future and the games coming up. Hopefully it is just about growing up - as he gets older and wiser he'll be hungrier. But it could be that he is doing rehabilitation work at Wigan this week. A lot goes on that we don't see behind the scenes. Maybe he'll be better for Wigan for that next week, as it's only a friendly for ourselves."

Source: PA