James McClean has hit back at Kenny Shiels over the Derry City manager’s comments about international football.
Last month, Shiels called Ireland “England’s reserves” and criticized the quality of international football in general.
Now, McClean has launched a scathing attack on the Airtricity manager.
â€œIâ€™ve become frustrated and very disappointed reading some of the silly and stupid comments made by Kenny Shiels in the media,â€ he told the Derry Journal.
â€œI remain a dyed in the wool Derry City fan. I really enjoyed representing the â€˜Candy Stripesâ€™ and to have successfully battled my way through to play international football for my country makes me feel particularly proud”.
The West Brom winger, who scored a brace in Ireland’s recent 3-1 win over Moldova, also questioned Shiels’ credentials.
â€œWhat right or what credentials does Kenny Shiels hold to make such ridiculous comments on international football? For me, playing in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin in front of thousands of people and wearing that green jersey means so much to me and my team-mates.
â€œI feel very proud and very fortunate to have been given an opportunity to wear that jersey. I do everything in my power to give 100 per cent when wearing it, so how dare Kenny Shiels make such ridiculous comments when he knows very little about playing international football.â€
â€œHe said Italians and Scottish people play for Ireland, but so do players such as David Forde, Seamus Coleman, Wes Hoolohan, Stephen Ward, Daryl Murphy and myself, players who graduated through local League of Ireland football”.
The Derry native then said people should regard Shiels as a comedian, and claimed he won’t let the Derry City manager “belittle” Irish players.
â€œTalk is cheap, but every local player harbours an ambition to play at the highest level possible. I think Kenny Shiels has done himself no favours with these insulting outbursts regarding international football. Heâ€™s actually been laughed at and ridiculed on television following the comments and I donâ€™t believe a Derry City manager should be viewed as a comedian.
â€œIâ€™ve noticed that he likes to make the headlines with some silly interviews before and after games, but Iâ€™m not prepared to let him belittle the strides Irish players have made in their careers by going on to represent their country. These are proud moments for the vast majority of players and moments that young players, such as myself, have long dreamt about.â€