McCarthy aiming to cement spot

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James McCarthy has set his sights on forcing his way into the next Republic of Ireland squad after announcing his arrival on the international stage.

The 20-year-old Wigan midfielder finally cemented his status as an Ireland player when he made his first competitive appearance in Saturday night's 2-1 Euro 2012 qualifier victory over Macedonia. But that proved to be far from a token involvement with manager Giovanni Trapattoni then playing him from the start against Uruguay on Tuesday night.

McCarthy said: "It was great to get a run-out. It's a dream come true to play for your country and get some game-time under your belt."

He added: "It was a bit frustrating not getting on the ball as much as I would have liked to, but these things happen.

"They had two sitting midfield players and it was really tight in there trying to get on the ball.

"But I will take positives from it. It's my first proper start and I need to just try to kick on from it.

"It's a team game and it's all about working hard for the team and trying to get on the ball.

"It didn't happen, but hopefully I can into the squad next time and try to get some game-time under my belt again."

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Premier League
Wigan Athletic
James McCarthy

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