Mick McCarthy to rotate Republic of Ireland team for Bulgaria friendly
Watch the match live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Mix from 7.40pm on Tuesday (kick-off 7.45pm)
By Adam Goodwin
Last Updated: 09/09/19 4:00pm
Mick McCarthy has revealed he will make changes for the Republic of Ireland's friendly against Bulgaria on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports.
The Republic come into this game on the back of a hard-fought Euro 2020 qualifier on Thursday, which they drew 1-1 with Switzerland.
McCarthy is now ready to rotate his squad and omit some of the players that featured in that game at the Aviva Stadium.
"You'll see some changes," he said. "It's an opportunity to see [the squad players] play.
"It's an opportunity for those who have travelled around Gibraltar and Denmark and supported the lads to get a game.
"Whoever plays, we want to win the game.
"If I make three substitutions, six substitutions - does it weaken the team, strengthen the team?
"Players who have not been playing, if they get the chance to play, will be busting a gut to play at their top level and as well as they possibly can."
Without revealing if they will start, the 60-year-old said both James Collins and Scott Hogan will play a part in the game, and there could be a potential return for Matt Doherty if he can overcome an injury.
McCarthy said: "James and Scott will both play.
"I'd like to see a performance from them that warrants me considering that I might have to play them for the next game.
"Or that everybody else sees that and they think that they could play and, if so-and-so's not doing the business, then at least we've got other players that can come in and do a job as well, if not better."
As well as rotating the starting XI for this friendly, McCarthy has also disclosed his plans to include some of the Republic of Ireland U21 players in future squads - as long as it does not hamper their own qualifying campaign.
The youngsters, who are currently top of their European qualifying group, beat Armenia 1-0 on Friday, with Sweden their next opponents on Tuesday.
McCarthy has highlighted a couple of players who stood out for him in that impressive victory in Tallaght.
He said: "I was extremely impressed. Certainly by (Aaron) Connolly, I thought he was the pick of the bunch. (Jayson) Molumby as well. Both can play, both can pass the ball.
"I hope they get playing for their teams. I hope they give me that dilemma and that problem when they do start playing.
"If I was to play them and they weren't to play well, that question would be asked of me. I trust myself, Terry (Connor) and Robbie (Keane). We know the best players, we know who should be playing."