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Report: Mick McCarthy shocked by Aston Villa's Glenn Whelan in training this week

Dublin , Ireland - 7 March 2019; Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy during his Republic of Ireland Squad Announcement at 3 HQ, Sir John Rogerson's Quay in Dublin.

Aston Villa's Glenn Whelan is away with the Republic of Ireland.

Dublin , Ireland - 7 March 2019; Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy during his Republic of Ireland Squad Announcement at 3 HQ, Sir John Rogerson's Quay in Dublin.

According to The Irish Independent, Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy has been left 'struck' by Glenn Whelan's energy levels in training.

The first international break of 2019 is upon us, and McCarthy will be hoping to get off to a perfect start in his second stint as Ireland boss.

Ireland travel to take on Gibraltar on Saturday evening before returning home to face Georgia on Tuesday night, both in Euro 2020 qualifiers.

 

McCarthy's first squad since taking over from Martin O'Neill featured Aston Villa ace Whelan, despite many thinking the 35-year-old was edging towards international retirement.

Whelan has recently enjoyed a fine run of form for Aston Villa, featuring prominently in their four-game winning streak, offering defensive protection whilst allowing John McGinn and Jack Grealish to go and attack.

It's therefore no surprise that Whelan earned a spot in McCarthy's squad, and The Irish Independent claim that McCarthy has been 'struck' by Whelan's energy levels.

Glenn Whelan of Aston Villa during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Middlesbrough at Villa Park on March 16, 2019 in Birmingham, England.

Despite his age, and featuring so regularly for Villa of late, it's believed that Whelan has been showing great energy in training, meaning he may well start against Gibraltar.

Ireland will be hoping to see the player Villa fans have praised of late, whilst Dean Smith will be praying that the veteran comes through this international break unscathed.

Glenn Whelan of Aston Villa during the Sky Bet Championship Match between Stoke City and Aston Villa at Bet365 Stadium on February 23, 2019 in Stoke on Trent, England.

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