Green light for McCarthy
Ireland star James McCarthy is delighted to have ended the debate over his international allegiance.
Last Updated: 27/03/11 5:27pm
James McCarthy was delighted to have finally ended the debate over his international allegiance after making his competitive Republic of Ireland debut.
The 20-year-old Wigan midfielder received huge cheers from the crowd when he replaced skipper Robbie Keane in the 2-1 Euro 2012 qualifying victory over Macedonia.
It confirmed McCarthy as an Ireland international and ended Scotland's hopes of persuading him to change his mind.
The Glasgow-born star has been at the centre of a debate over whether or not his mind was firmly made up following his withdrawal from Giovanni Trapattoni's squad for the Carling Nations Cup clash with Wales.
Club boss Roberto Martinez further muddied the waters when he suggested there could yet be room for manoeuvre.
But the player was quick to insist the country of his heritage rather than his birth had won when he arrived for international duty in Dublin.
McCarthy said: "I'm delighted to make my debut. The fans were great with me. There was nothing in the stories that came about.
"Hopefully I can get many more caps.
"It's been different class. The boys have made me really welcome. It's just great to be among it and get some game-time under my belt."
Former Celtic winger Aiden McGeady, who was also born in Glasgow, is well-placed to understand the pressures on McCarthy and was pleased to see him finally pull on a green shirt.
He said: "I was talking to him in the dressing room and he just said he was delighted that he came on and that's it put to bed now.
"He was getting phone calls from all sorts of people asking if he was going back to Scotland, but he said it was never in doubt and he was never going to do that.
"Now it's sorted."