Euro 2020 qualifiers: Matt Doherty hoping for Republic boost under Mick McCarthy

Doherty has won five caps for the Republic after making his debut last year
Doherty has won five caps for the Republic after making his debut last year
Euro 2020: Gibraltar v Republic of Ireland
Venue: Victoria Stadium, Gibraltar Date: Saturday, 23 March Kick-off: 17:00 GMT
Coverage: Score updates and match report on BBC Sport website

Republic of Ireland wing-back Matt Doherty is hoping the arrival of new manager Mick McCarthy will provide a boost to his international career.

The Wolves defender was frustrated by his lack of opportunities under former boss Martin O'Neill and was critical of him after his departure in November.

Doherty worked under McCarthy at Molineux and has described him as "a very good man-manager".

"I've no idea why I didn't play more," Doherty said about O'Neill's reign.

Asked if he felt he should have played more games under the former Celtic and Aston Villa boss, the 27-year-old added: "I would like to think so personally, but I don't pick the team.

"I just didn't play. It's not the end of the world, you've got to respect the 11 that go out.

"It didn't work out for whatever reason, but hopefully that will be different."

Mick McCarthy
McCarthy guided the Republic to the 2002 World Cup finals during his first spell in charge

Doherty is part of the squad that is preparing for the Republic's opening Euro 2020 qualifier away to Gibraltar on Saturday in what will be the first game of McCarthy's second spell in charge of the side.

Having helped Wolves reach the semi-final of the FA Cup with victory over Manchester United at the weekend, he will hope to be in the Republic's starting line-up on the artificial pitch at Gibraltar's Victoria Stadium.

The Republic will be desperate to erase the memories of their disappointing Nations League campaign by taking maximum points from Saturday's opener and the visit of Georgia to Dublin three days later.

"We need to get off to a good start for us and our manager," Doherty continued.

"We need to beat Gibraltar on Saturday - if you slip up there, that wouldn't be good. The first two games could make all the difference.

"The home game against Georgia will be a bit more difficult as they are quite technically good and better than people might think."

Southampton striker Shane Long has withdrawn from the Irish squad for the Euros double header with a groin strain, with McCarthy calling up Millwall's Aiden O'Brien as a replacement.

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