May 31 (Reuters) - Ireland’s James McClean has criticised players that put their clubs before for their country as the 28-year-old gets ready to earn his 50th cap in a friendly against Mexico in New Jersey on Friday.
McClean was praised by manager Martin O‘Neill for choosing to play in the match while others had opted to take a break after the conclusion of the domestic league season.
“What motivation do you need to play for your country? I‘m fit and ready and available for selection,” McClean told reporters on Tuesday.
”It gets on my nerves when players come in and they’re not fit for games, but they are for the club games at the weekend. That gets to me.
“To see the excitement here of lads who want to wear that jersey, it’s brilliant.”
After the Mexico match, O‘Neill’s squad will head to Dublin where they host Uruguay in another friendly before their Group D World Cup qualifier against Austria on June 11. (Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford; )