Alex McCarthy 'must be pinching himself' over England call up, says Matt Le Tissier
Last Updated: 01/09/16 4:23pm
Former Southampton midfielder Matt Le Tissier says Alex McCarthy "must be pinching himself" after receiving a late call up to the England squad.
McCarthy was drafted into Sam Allardyce's squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Slovakia after club team-mate Fraser Forster picked up an arm injury in training.
Forster was expected to challenge Joe Hart for starting place in Sunday's match but has since been sent home, with McCarthy called up as a late replacement.
"One man's misfortune is another man's opportunity," said Le Tissier.
"Alex McCarthy, who's only played a handful of minutes for Saints in pre-season, has got himself a chance in the England squad.
"He must be pinching himself. It's fantastic news for Southampton - that we've got such a capable deputy for Fraser [Forster]."
McCarthy joined Southampton on a three-year deal from Crystal Palace earlier this summer and Le Tissier says he has been impressed with the 26-year-old since his arrival at St Mary's.
"I saw him play in one of the pre-season friendlies - he didn't have a great deal to do but what he did, he did admirably," said the former England international.
"I saw him briefly at Crystal Palace as well [and] he showed a lot of promise at Reading. [He's a] good goalkeeper and hopefully he'll be able to step up to the plate."
Former Southampton defender Francis Benali echoed Le Tissier's thoughts.
"He's obviously a great signing for Southampton - to have that competition for the No 1 jersey with Fraser Forster," Benali said.
"He's a great addition to the club and the squad - he'll be pushing Fraser on a weekly basis and on a daily basis in training.
"It's just a shame that Fraser's picked up an injury which has meant that he's not able to lining up for England.
"But great for Southampton that they've called up Alex to be a replacement."
Hart, now on loan at Serie A club Torino, is expected to start against Slovakia, with McCarthy and Burnley keeper Tom Heaton providing back-up on the bench.