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JAMES McCLEAN LOOKS AHEAD TO SUMMER INTERNATIONALS

23 May 2014

James McClean previews Republic of Ireland's summer fixtures.

Republic of Ireland begin their summer programme on Sunday when Turkey visit the Aviva Stadium for an international friendly.

Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane will run the rule over their squad ahead of the start of their qualification campaign for Euro 2016 in September.

A friendly with Italy in London follows on Saturday before a trip to America to face Costa Rica and Portugal concludes their summer preparations.

And Latics winger James McClean says the future is promising for his national team, with a fresh, young side showing promise under the new management.

“It is an exciting time for us; we’re building a young squad, obviously we had a little bit of a set-back last time out against a very good Serbia side but we took them all the way and it bodes well for the future, especially with Martin and Roy in charge,” McClean explained.

“We’re looking forward to the games in the summer and hopefully we can prepare well to be ready to secure qualification for the Euros.

“We’re coming up against some great players; the best player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo is playing for Portugal.

“That’s what you want to do, you want to test yourselves against the best players in the world and it’ll be a good experience.”

O’Neill’s side face Germany, Poland, Scotland, Georgia and Gibraltar in Group D of Euro 2016’s qualification stage and McClean explained his side's aims.

“I think three of our first four qualifiers are away from home but if you want to qualify you’ve got to beat teams in their own country,” he added.

“It’ll be a massive task but we’re relatively confident that we can at least get second.”

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