DONCASTER Rovers manager Paul Dickov believes Luke McCullough’s first competitive start for Northern Ireland is good news for both the defender and his club.
The Portadown-born player, 20, lined up for his country in their 2-0 victory over the Faroe Islands at Belfast’s Windsor Park in a Euro 2016 qualifier; Northern Ireland have made their best start to a campaign since 1968.
It is the latest accolade for McCullough, a player rated highly by Dickov, and the inclusion of another fully-fledged international with qualifying experience – with South African international Dean Furman and Jamaica’s Theo Robinson the others in their midst – is a welcome boost for Rovers, according to their boss.
He said: “Making his competitive debut at a young age was fantastic for Luke.
“Yet again, the reports we have had back from their coaching staff about him have been fantastic.
“It is good for us, but more than anything else, it helps Luke.
“He has gone away at a young age and is playing international football.
“Experience-wise, he has not got a lot of games under his belt. So to get a taste of international football shows how well he has been doing. He is highly thought of in the Northern Irish set-up, which is great for us.”
Rovers are raring to go after the latest international break and will seek their third successive victory this afternoon in what is their fifth successive away game in all competitions.
But issuing a pre-game note of caution, Dickov added: “Confidence is high, but that is when you have to be on your guard as well.
“Sometimes we are at our worst after playing at our best, if that makes sense. We have to make sure we do not get carried away.”