Football: STARLET O'SHEA CAN GO ALL WAY.(Sport)

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Byline: HUGH O'REILLY

REPUBLIC Under-21 manager Don Givens had mixed news for Mick McCarthy when their paths crossed briefly in Dublin on Thursday night.

Three defeats and a 2-2 draw with Germany in their last game added up to a dismal fortnight for the Irish in the Toulon international youth tournament.

The upside was the contribution of Manchester United's John O'Shea after his belated arrival in the camp to boost confidence for the closing phase of their programme.

It was the centre-back's early goal which set them up for a vastly improved display in the Germany game.

And Givens, who held the Ireland scoring record for so long, has no doubt that the Waterford lad can make up into a top-class senior international.

"After being left out of the senior squad for Japan, he could be pardoned if he felt a bit down when he joined up with us.

"But there was certainly no sign of any resentment when he came and I think that says a lot about his character. It's obvious that his appearances in United's senior team have worked wonders for his confidence. …