Portsmouth's Ronan Curtis keen to impress Ireland boss Mick McCarthy ahead of Euro play-offs

RONAN CURTIS is hoping his impressive return to form with Portsmouth has given Ireland boss, Mick McCarthy some food for thought ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia next March.

Sunday, 2nd February 2020, 3:38 pm
Ronan Curtis hopes his club form will catch the eye of Ireland boss, Mick McCarthy

The former Derry City winger is currently Pompey’s top scorer with 13 goals, including 10 in the past 16 fixtures! He London born player also added a further two assists for Pompey in the impressive 2-0 victory over fellow promotion chasers, Sunderland at Fratton Park on Saturday.

Curtis also won back-to-back PFA League One Player of the Month awards for November and December and those performances alerted the attention of Championship side, Blackburn Rovers, who were contemplating a £3m move for the 23 year-old St Johnston man whose Pompey contract expires next June.

Curtis, who overcame a dip in form at the beginning of the season, revealed Ireland boss, McCarthy has been in regular contact and he’s determined to be involved and possibly earn his fourth senior international cap when Ireland take on Slovakia in the first of those crunch Euro 2020 playoffs on March 26th.

“To be fair, Mick (McCarthy) gave me my caps when I got called up,” said Curtis.

Curtis admitted he was ‘disheartened’ when he failed to make McCarthy’s squad for October’s double header of qualifiers against Georgia and Switzerland and the final group game against Denmark last November.

However, he hopes his turnaround in fortunes on the south coast of England will be enough to see him considered for the playoffs.

“I was a little bit disheartened when I didn’t get called up but that’s life, you’ve got to bounce back from it.

“I obviously wasn’t in the best shape or form in my career at that time. I hit a dip but now I’m back to my best and confidence is flying.

“Mick McCarthy has been texting me when I’ve done well after games so come March and the playoffs, hopefully I’ll be in and around the squad again.

“Those are two massive games we’ve got and hopefully we can get the job done.”

Meanwhile, with the January Transfer Window now shut, it's understood Curtis is closing in on a new deal with Portsmouth as the League One club are determined to keep hold of one of their prized assets.

Pompey boss, Kenny Jackett confirmed after Saturday's game that discussions are taking place with the winger over committing his future to the club and he's been encouraged.

"There have been talks, there's been talks, yes," confirmed Jackett. "We haven't got anything (agreed) because we've been concentrating on this particular game. But yes, there's been talks. I'm sure as and when they're done they'll be announced.

"I'm not going to say we haven't. We have been talking to him definitely, yes. It's encouraging. We've been pleased with him and I was pleased with him against Sunderland.

"He's been a good player. He was a little bit up and down at the start of the year. But he's got his head down and I thought he was a key player for us (against Sunderland)."