Republic of Ireland v New Zealand: McCarthy to blood youth in friendly before Denmark showdown

Celtic defender Lee O'Connor may feature against New Zealand
Celtic defender Lee O'Connor may feature against New Zealand

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy says he will use Thursday's friendly against New Zealand to give the younger members of his squad a chance to impress.

The Republic face NZ before hosting Denmark in Monday's crunch Euro 2020 qualifier at the Aviva Stadium.

Uncapped pair Troy Parrott and Lee O'Connor are among those set to feature against the All Whites.

"There's some scope for them to do themselves some good," said McCarthy.

"Whether that translates to Monday we'll find out but we'll see how they play."

With Monday night's must-win game against the Danes at the forefront of his thinking, McCarthy admitted that his team is 'settled' when asked about the likelihood of youngsters breaking into the first-team.

"You've seen my team, it's been pretty settled," said McCarthy.

"Is someone going to come in and rip it up? And bear in mind that we are playing a friendly against New Zealand.

"I say we need to play them with the same respect, but quite clearly the game doesn't have the same importance.

"The players know that, I know that, I've been there. You want to play well in a friendly and there are a few nerves, but it's not like Monday night."

Parrott is set to make his Republic debut against New Zealand
Parrott is set to make his Republic debut against New Zealand

McCarthy waiting on Connolly scan results

McCarthy is waiting on the results of Aaron Connolly's scan after the Brighton forward was forced off at half-time in his side's defeat by Manchester United on Sunday with a groin injury.

Connolly, 19, made his senior international debut last month in the Republic's 0-0 Euro qualifier draw with Georgia after scoring twice for Brighton on his first Premier League start.

Connolly was due to have his scan at 14:45 GMT on Monday.

"I won't know anything about that until we get the results back," said McCarthy.

There was more positive news regarding Darren Randolph, who returned to club action with Middlesbrough over the weekend after four weeks out with a thigh injury.

"We'll be taking care of him," said McCarthy.

"Anybody who has been injured, we discuss it with their medical team as well along with ours.

"We'll be making sure we look after him. I'm not bothered if he's training, we just want him playing on Monday."

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