Mick McCarthy was in awe of Josh Cullen’s display for the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday night as the West Ham midfielder earned his first cap for his country.
Cullen, 23, completed 90 minutes of Ireland’s 3-1 win against Bulgaria in an international friendly to add to what has been an impressive start to the season for him on loan at Championship high-flyers Charlton.
Speaking after the game, Ireland boss McCarthy claimed that Cullen was the best player on the pitch in what was a superb overall display by his side in Dublin.
“Ultimately the result pleased me the most. Josh Cullen deserved man of the match, he was excellent,” said McCarthy, as quoted by Goal journalist Ronan Murphy via his personal Twitter account on Tuesday night.
Mick McCarthy: "Ultimately the result pleased me the most. Josh Cullen deserved man of the match, he was excellent. Alan Browne also was. I loved James Collins' performance when he came on. Jack Byrne lit the place up with his forward passing and created two goals." #COYBIG
— Ronan Murphy (@swearimnotpaul) September 10, 2019
Cullen has had a dream start to the 2019/20 season. He has played every minute of every league match for Charlton, helping them to sit second in the Championship having not suffered a defeat in five matches. The loaned-out West Ham midfielder then impressed for Ireland on Tuesday night and staked a massive claim to feature in their Euro 2020 squad next summer should they qualify for the tournament with a great outing against Bulgaria. While Ireland will have tougher opposition than Bulgaria as they continue their qualification campaign, Cullen must be delighted with his efforts so far and that will only stand him in good stead towards getting called up in the future, irrespective of his form on loan at Charlton. As for West Ham, did they make a mistake by loaning Cullen out in the summer? The 23-year-old is doing very well and has shown enough to suggest he is ready for Premier League football.