Keith Andrews is confident that Conor Hourihane can make a successful transition to Premier League football and James McCarthy can revive his career.
Speaking on OTB’s Deadline Day Special, Andrews gave his thoughts on Ireland’s Premier League contingent and thinks that Hourihane has proved himself every step of the way in his career.
“He’s had to go backwards to go forwards and every single step he’s taken, I wouldn’t say with ease, because even at the start of Aston Villa it took him a little bit of time to take in the enormity of Aston Villa from Barnsley.
“He’s had to fight off a lot of potential players taking his place and he’s just gone up to the next step,” Andrews admired.
The Ireland U21 assistant coach said that he expects Hourihane to continue being a vital player in Mick McCarthy’s Ireland team.
“He’s an absolute diamond of a person. He’s a thorough professional, the way he approaches the game.
I’ve a lot of time for him and he’s proved in a green shirt over the last few months what an important player he’ll be for us over the coming years."
“If he can slot into Premier League life - and on paper, in terms of the time you get on the ball - he should be able to show that array of passes and set-pieces and what he’s capable of,” Andrews said on #OTB17.
James McCarthy has joined Crystal Palace in a bid to get his career back on track after it was derailed by injury at Goodison Park.
Roy Hodgson will be the right manager for McCarthy to play for, but he has to get on the pitch, according to Andrews.
“I sincerely hope it is [a renaissance for his career].
“He’s had a tough time with the injury he’s had to go through and since he’s been back fit and training he hasn’t been Marco Silva’s cup of tea, obviously.
“Hodgson likes defence-minded midfielders to play in a structured way and if I look at what he could do for James’ game it could I think it could be very good.
But ultimately he needs to get on the pitch and playing minutes,” Andrews said.
Elsewhere, Andrews was bullish about Djibril Sidibe dislodging Seamus Coleman as Everton’s starting right-back.
While Gavin Kilkenny, who has starred for Bournemouth in preseason, has taken his chance to earn a place or a loan move.