McCarthy: Luton striker Collins deserves Ireland call-up

Ireland boss Mick McCarthy
Ireland boss Mick McCarthy

Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy insists Luton striker James Collins is fully deserving of his first senior international call-up this afternoon.

The 28-year-old, who has played for the U19s and U21s earlier in his career, is now in the running to win his first full Irish cap in the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia later this month.

He is one of three new face in the squad along with Bournemouth keeper Mark Travers and Newport County attacker Padraig Amond, as speaking at his squad announcement, McCarthy said: "James Collins has scored goals at every level he's played at.

"James and Padraig have had very good seasons.

"They deserve the recognition of being called up to the squad."

After netting 20 goals in the league this term, Collins is on course to break his own personal record of 22 in a season and when asked just how he has improved since being at Kenilworth Road, Luton boss Mick Harford said: "His movement in the box is very, very good.

"He gets across defenders, he’s a nuisance, he holds the ball up very well, he’s performed very, very well this season at a higher level than he was playing at last season.

"So he’s improving and we always say, you can always improve at any age, if you keep working hard and keep doing the right things.

"He’s done that, he’s shown that hard work on the training ground is rewarded.

“He’ll be the first to thank his team-mates, he’s that kind of lad, he’ll be the first to echo the contribution made by the rest of the team.

"I always say with his movement, with his power, with his strength, in and around the penalty area, he’s a massive threat."