Irish Abroad: Nathan Collins sees red in Burnley defeat 2 months ago

Irish Abroad: Nathan Collins sees red in Burnley defeat

It was a mixed weekend mixed for Irish players across the water.

Nathan Collins was sent off for Burnley as Conor Ronan and Aaron McEneff left their mark on the Scottish Cup.

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While Mark Travers and Jake Mulraney could come into the Republic of Ireland squad following their standout performances.

Stephen Kenny appears to have plenty of options ahead of this month's international friendlies against Belgium and Lithuania.

Nathan Collins

Nathan Collins to miss out on consecutive Premier League starts after red card.

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Collins started for 19th-placed Burnley as they lost 2-0 to Brentford on Saturday. The Kildare native came into the Clarets' defence in the place of the injured Ben Mee.

This was Collins' opportunity to get a run in the team as Mee is expected to miss their next match against Manchester City.

However, the Irish defender, 20, was shown a straight red card in the 92nd-minute for bringing down Ivan Toney in the box. The Brentford striker converted the subsequent penalty.

Collins will now miss out on consecutive Premier League starts and may have also missed out on the chance to catch Kenny's eye for the upcoming squad announcement. The defender has earned one senior cap for Ireland so far.

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Nathan Collins

Burnley boss Sean Dyche did not agree with the nature of the Collins' red card. The 50-year-old couldn't understand why referee Paul Tierney sent the Irish defender off.

"I don't understand why it was a red card, but apparently it's because it was an above the waist challenge, as in a nudge, which didn't really make sense to me," said Dyche.

"That must be the letter of the law, but I didn't know that, so I've learned something today, alongside many things about the team. He sent him off and I can't really see that."

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Nathan Collins

Could Connor Ronan offer a solution to Ireland's creative midfielder issues?

Ronan scored an incredible goal as St Mirren bowed out of the Scottish Cup to Hearts on Saturday.

The Wolves loanee claimed he didn't see his shot clearly, it was only when he heard the club's fans cheering that he knew he had scored.

The midfielder has timed his run of good form well and could even be an option for Kenny's senior squad.

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Connor Ronan

Ronan, 24, has enjoyed his "best spell in football" this season with a potential call-up on the cards.

Kenny is fond of the playmaker and, when he was Ireland Under-21 manager, he built his midfield around Ronan.

"It sat up nicely and I didn’t really see it to be fair. It went through a few bodies and then I just heard everyone cheering - so I ran off to celebrate," Ronan said.

"I have loved my time here. The fans have taken to me from day one and this has probably been my best spell in football so far.

"Obviously, I have had a fair few loans at different places, but this is the one I’ve enjoyed the most so far."

Another week, another Mark Travers clean sheet.

Travers starred in goals for Bournemouth as they beat Derby County 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

The 22-year-old recorded his 13th clean sheet of the season and helped the Cherries remain second in the Championship.

There is a strong argument in Travers' favour that he should start for Ireland in the upcoming friendlies against Belgium and Lithuania.

He is in great form and plays every week at a higher level than his rivals for the Ireland jersey, Caoimhin Kelleher, who is Liverpool's backup 'keeper, and Gavin Bazunu, currently on loan at Portsmouth from Manchester City.

Kenny recognised Travers' improvements this season when comparing performances to his Irish counterparts.

“Mark Travers, he’s had the best season of them all you could say. Gavin (Bazunu) is playing in League One, and Mark has arguably had (the best season). It depends if you measure Caoimhin (Kelleher) winning the trophy," Kenny said last week.

“Mark is difficult to beat and is athletic. He’s improved with his feet, and that was a criticism. It wasn’t that he was bad with his feet, he just wasn’t as good as them."

Aaron McEneff's 26-second impact.

McEneff came off the bench at Tynecastle against St. Mirren to guide Hearts into the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup.

The Derryman scored instantly to put the Jam Tarts back in front. The former Shamrock Rovers midfielder provided Ellis Simms with an assist as Hearts beat the Buddies 4-2.

The 26-year-old has had a difficult season trying to establish a first-team place in the squad. But McEneff may get more opportunities after Saturday's display.

Hearts boss Robbie Nielson was full of praise for McEneffs performance at full time.

“Credit to Aaron because he’s not had the opportunities he’s probably deserved,” said Neilson.

“But he trains well every day and it’s a credit to him that when he does get a chance like tonight, he comes and changes the game for us. I’m delighted for him because he’s a great kid. He hasn’t had the opportunity his training has merited."

Jake Mulraney's last-minute MLS winner.

Meanwhile, Jake Mulraney's 96th minute-winner saw Atlanta United beat Charlotte 2-1 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday.

The Dubliner cut in from the right-wing to fire his effort past the Charlotte goalkeeper to claim all three points for the Five Stripes.

Mulraney, 25, has played in the MLS since his move from Hearts in 2020. If the winger keeps up this rich vein of form, Kenny could reward him with a call-up.