James McClean had high hopes of making an impression on new Sunderland boss, Martin O’Neill, when Sunderland entertained Manchester United last night at the Stadium of Light.
And while the Creggan man was due to start last night’s game, another Derry-born Premiership player was expected to be playing in United’s midfield.
Darron Gibson, who faced Crysal Palace in last week’s Carling Cup defeat, will also have had an opportunity to fight for his United place in a match which was expected to attract both O’Neill and Sir Alex Ferguson.
While Gibson’s future at Old Trafford remains in doubt, McClean is anxious to get his chance to break into the Sunderland first team squad since joining the Black Cats” from Derry City last season.
Having been placed on the bench for several matches, including the trip to Old Trafford when Ferguson celebrated 25
years in charge of the club, but he failed to be called up by former boss, Steve Bruce.
However, former Chairman and now Sunderland’s International Development Director, has insisted that McClean’s chance will come sooner rather than later.
Commenting following the official appointment of new boss, O’Neill, Quinn held the view that the former Derry winger’s progress would please the new boss.
He said: “James McClean is about to make his debut, there’s no doubt about that.
“And while I don’t pick the team, I’ve watched James warm-up, told to take off his tracksuit on a couple of occasions but it just hasn’t happened for him due to circumstances,” said the former Irish international.
“He’s been flying in training and when playing for the reserve team. We played Newcastle Unit-ed in front of a very big crowd a few weeks ago and he was absolutely outstanding in that game,” claimed Quinn.
“He is a really hard-working player and an intelligent guy when on the ball.
“The first week he came he, he absolutely bowled Steve Bruce over with his attitude and I’ve no doubt he will do exactly the same to Martin O’Neill.
“We have set James certain tar-gets over the next few months as we believe he could actually bec a good outside bet to be included in the Irish squad going to the ‘Euros’ next June,” claimed the Dubliner.
While delighted to have learned about the comments made by his club’s International Development Director, James opted to err on the side of caution.
“I think I’m doing okay but, at the same time, I don’t really know that until I actually make my first team debut,” said the Creggan man before leaving for last night’s game against United.