JOHN O’SHEA is confident James McClean will ultimately play a major role on the international stage despite missing out on a place in the Republic of Ireland squad.
Sunderland winger McClean was a surprise omission last week from the Ireland squad to face the Czech Republic in a friendly later this month after the 22-year-old had been widely tipped for a first call-up under Giovanni Trapattoni.
McClean’s chances of appearing at Euro 2012 now look slim, with Trapattoni indicating the former Derry City man is unlikely to play a part until after the summer’s championships.
But Ireland defender O’Shea, included in the squad along with Sunderland team-mate Keiren Westwood, believes time is firmly on McClean’s side after a mere 10 Premier League starts.
O’Shea told SportMail: “I think the manager has spoken to him and said his time will come.
“He probably had so many people telling him that he was going to be in the squad, that it’ll be a little bit disappointing for him.
“But as the manager has said, he’s the future for Ireland and he’ll have plenty of time to get his caps.
“The manager has been one of the most successful that has ever been involved in the game so we have to trust his judgement.”
SEE Tuesday’s Mail for full story