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Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy
"W'll see how he (Steven Reid) copes with stepping up into international football"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 14 August, 2001, 12:19 GMT 13:19 UK
Reid earns Republic debut
Millwall's Steven Reid
Steven Reid scored for Millwall at the weekend
Millwall midfielder Steven Reid will make his Republic of Ireland debut in Wednesday night's friendly against Croatia at Lansdowne Road.

The 20-year-old Londoner was capped four times by England at Under-16 level.

Reid - who qualifies for the Republic because his late father was born in Galway - scored a spectacular goal as the Lions thrashed Norwich City 4-0 on their return to the First Division on Saturday.

"This has all happened very quickly," he said.

"I was delighted to see my name there when manager Mick McCarthy chose his original squad.

The first thing I did was to ring my mother back at home
  Steven Reid
"Then the panel was reduced to 24 and I couldn't wait to get on the plane to Dublin for the squad sessions.

"Now I have been told that I am playing right from the start against Croatia.

"It hasn't sunk in yet and the first thing I did was to ring my mother back at home.

"She will definitely be travelling over for the game," added Reid.

"Steven Reid deserves this chance," said the Irish boss.

"The lad has the ability and the physical strength to make an immediate impression although it is a huge step up from First Division football to the international level," added McCarthy.

Fellow uncapped players John O'Shea (Manchester United) and Clinton Morrison (Crystal Palace) are certain to make their debuts at some stage during the game.

Steve Staunton
Steve Staunton earns his 90th cap

McCarthy hands a record 90th cap to veteran Aston Villa defender Steve Staunton for a game both countries are using as preparation for World Cup games on 1 September.

The Republic take on Holland at Lansdowne Road while on the same day Scotland play host to Croatia.

McCarthy, minus several key players because of injuries, has a new-look attack with Blackburn's Damien Duff partnering Leeds United's Robbie Keane in attack.

Croatia have the experienced Middlesbrough striker Alen Boksic partnering new 6m Aston Villa signing Bosko Balaban in attack after his recent move from Dinamo Zagreb.

Seasoned internationals Robert Prosinecki and Davor Suker will start on the bench.

Croatia coach Mirko Jozic said the game was very important for his team.

"The Republic of Ireland play a similar style to Scotland and this will be invaluable preparation for our big game in Glasgow next month," added Jozic.

Rep of Ireland: Given (Newcastle United); G Kelly (Leeds United), Dunne (Manchester City), Staunton (Aston Villa), Harte (Leeds United); Reid (Millwall), Roy Keane (Manchester United), Carsley (Coventry), Kennedy (Wolves); Duff (Blackburn), Robbie Keane (Leeds United).

Croatia: Stipe Pletikosa; Dario Simic, Igor Tudor, Robert Kovac; Zvonimir Soldo, Robert Jarni, Niko Kovac; Mario Stanic, Milan Rapaic; Bosko Balaban, Alan Boksic.

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See also:

13 Aug 01 |  Football
Morrison will make Republic debut
12 Aug 01 |  Northern Ireland
Republic hit by withdrawals
06 Jun 01 |  World Cup 2002
Irish extend group lead
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