BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
JAMES McCarthy has spoken of his Euro 2016 excitement after declaring himself fit to help spearhead the Republic of Ireland’s bid for success at the tournament.
The former Hamilton Accies youngster was a major doubt for France because of a hamstring and groin injury sustained with Everton on the final day of the league season.
However, he trained with his international team-mates at the tail end of last week and the influential midfielder insists he ‘should be fine’ for Martin O’Neill’s side’s opener against Sweden in a Group E that also includes Belgium and Italy.
The Glasgow-born 25-year-old asked not to be considered for selection for Euro 2012 after his father was diagnosed with cancer but is determined to enjoy the championships this time around – whilst keeping his feet on the ground.
He said: “There’s a massive excitement about the place, but we’ll take it a game at a time and we won’t get too carried away.
“Obviously the boss and the likes of Roy (Keane) and the backroom staff, they know how important it is to not look too far forward.
“We have got a tough group, don’t get me wrong, but we’ll take it a game at a time.
“Each and everyone one of us who is going on the plane and travelling to France, we know it’s going to be tough.”
He added to rte: “But there’s a real excitement about the place and we are looking forward to it.”