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International Roundup: McClean Makes Big Impact On First Start

James McClean madea  very strong case for inclusion in Ireland's starting eleven for the summer's tournament.
James McClean madea very strong case for inclusion in Ireland's starting eleven for the summer's tournament.

It's time once again for a roundup of all our international players, plus some others of interest such as Craig Gordon and the like as teams across Europe prepare for the upcoming European Championships in Poland and Ukraine. Meanwhile in other parts of the world there's also friendlies going on, plus the start of World Cup Qualifiers for some nations.

We've reports on all our players who were involved somewhere over the weekend, so come and join us for a full roundup of the action...

Simon Mignolet was left out of Belgium's 2-2 draw with Montenegro on Friday night, with coach Marc Wilmots opting to start Chelsea youngster Thibaut Courtois, and replace him later with Jean-Francois Gillet of Bologna. Mignolet has however been told he will start against England on June 2nd.

James McClean and Kieren Westwood both started, and played the full 90 minutes for Ireland's 1-0 win against Bosnia & Herzegovina.

McClean enjoyed a very positive first half on the left wing, and his first touched was greeted with huge cheers from the home fans as he went on to spend the rest of the first half causing many a problem for the Bosnian defence. On 25 minutes the Derry native brown down the left, beat three static defenders and pulled back for Darron Gibson who dragged poorly wide. Not long before half time, McClean forced Stoke City's Asmir Begovic into smart low save after latching on to Kevin Doyle's lofted pass.

Ireland manager Giovanni Trappatoni was good to his word and in the second half experimented with McClean on the right hand side with Aidan McGeady, a reported target of ours, down the left. McClean put in a great shift, but wasn't quite as active as he was in the first half for large periods as McGeady stole the show, setting up Shane Long's goal and rattling the woodwork himself.

McClean tested Begovic again as time was running out, and despite the impressive second half from McGeady who's also vying for a left wing spot, McClean will have given Trappatoni plenty to think about headed into the Euro's this summer.

As for Westwood, he had quite the opposite game to McClean, and was a relative bystander for pretty much the entirety of the game. When called upon though, he proved himself to be more than able, saving well from a Miralem Pjanic free kick.

If we're still wondering about him, and we're probably not let's face it, Nicklas Bendtner scored Denmark's only goal as they slumped 3-1 against Brazil, tapping in from close range following Niki Zimling;s low cross from the left wing. Tommy Sorensen also played in the game, but was forced off with injury after only 25 minutes.

Phil Bardsley was part of a Scotland side who were embarrassed 5-1 by USA in Jacksonville. Bardsley was aprtly at fault for the Yanks opening goal, as he lost possession cheaply, allowing Terence Boyd to shoot, and eventually Landon Donovan to finish. A nightmare of a game for Bardsley was ended on 59 minutes, just seconds before the USA added their third goal.

Craig Gordon watched from the bench, perhaps protecting what stock he has as he looks for a new club, while potential signing Steven Fletcher was not involved at all.

Elsewhere Davids Vaughan had to withdraw from the Wales side which plays Mexico over in the USA this weekend, while former Sunderland man Jordan Henderson got a brief spell of action against Norway during England's boring 1-0 win.

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