Martinez backs McCarthy choice

Latics boss says harsh treatment could scupper Scottish call-up

McCarthy: International dilemma

Roberto Martinez believes Scotland will miss out on James McCarthy after the abuse he suffered when he opted to play for the Republic of Ireland Under 21s.

McCarthy joined the Latics from Hamilton in the summer and the £1.2million signing's impressive outings in the Premier League have not been lost on new Scotland boss Craig Levein.

Levein is looking to shake up the Scottish national team ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifiers and the Glasgow-born midfielder is believed to be one of the new generation the former Dundee United boss has in mind.

But McCarthy - who has a granddad from Donegal - was on the receiving end of an adverse reaction from supporters north of the border when he elected to choose his Irish heritage while he was still playing for the Accies

And Martinez believes the maltreatment will reaffirm the teenager's viewpoint to stick with his original decision of where to pledge his allegiance.

"I know in Scotland they made a huge meal out of it, they let him know how they felt when he chose the Republic of Ireland and that could have a bearing on his decision," said the Spaniard of McCarthy, who has played five times for the Republic's Under 21s.


Martinez has revealed he offered advice to the 19-year-old midfielder but only to tell him he must make up his own mind.

"We spoke about it but I said to James he needs to make the decision, he doesn't need to listen to anyone. He needs to listen to his feelings," the Wigan boss added.

"The moment you allow people to influence your decision you are going to make the wrong decision.

"At the moment he is playing with the Republic of Ireland Under 21s so he has a clear idea of what that means.

"He has played in Scotland for many years so he understands the football feeling around that country.

"James is an impressive character and if he listens to his feelings he will make the right decision."