QPR BOSS: delight to have senior 21 year old creative star back with in action

QPR BOSS: delight to have senior 21 year old creative star back with in action

Ireland U-21 boss Jim Crawford has confirmed that QPR striker Sinclair Armstrong will return to the squad for tomorrow night’s Euro 2025 qualifier against San Marino, 48 hours after winning his first senior cap.
The QPR forward earned his first senior call-up on Friday morning, thus missing the U-21s dramatic opening 3-2 win over Turkey that night, before making his first senior appearance as an 87th minute substitute in yesterday’s home defeat to the Netherlands.


Crawford said a big cheer came from his side as they watched the Dubliner take his first steps onto the Lansdowne Road turf. The return of the 20-year-old is a boost as the U-21s look to make it back-to-back opening wins against San Marino at Turner’s Cross (7.30).




“The biggest news for us is that Sinclair Armstrong will be joining the group again, which is great for a number of reasons,” said Crawford, who reported no fresh injury concerns speaking from the team’s base in Cork, though Sean Roughan misses out through suspension.


“First, his ability and secondly his character and what he brings to the group. We’re delighted. The question was asked of him last night after he made his senior debut and he was only too happy to come back down and join up with the U-21 squad.


“One of the staff members took a little bit of footage when he made his debut. There was a nice cheer when he got onto the pitch. I think it just shows the real connection that is with this U-21 group.


Aidomo Emakhu’s contribution on Friday, coming off the bench to score a superb 96th minute winner, will have given Crawford food for thought as he decides on his starting 11 for tomorrow, but he insists he has no reservations on making some changes.


“I would have no hesitations on changing the team around. That’s what happened on Friday morning when I got the phone call that Sinclair had been called up to the seniors. It wasn’t like we were moping around the place, we had Johnny Kenny to come in. It’s the same in every other position, we are strong around the place,” added Crawford.

Jim Crawford's delight to have senior debutant Sinclair Armstrong back with U-21s | Independent.ie

“It’s a different type of game to Friday. San Marino are going to come, defend deep and get bodies behind the ball. It’s up to us to break them down. It’s about getting the three points.


“The players know that this is now the biggest game of our campaign. It (two wins from two) would be an excellent start to the campaign but it’s still very early. It would put a marker out there and bring confidence.”


“There has been a big buzz around the camp after getting our first win in our first game. The manner in which we won it as well makes it more special,” said Celtic centre-half Bosun Lawal, who impressed on his first competitive U-21 start against Turkey.


“Even before Friday we were a confident group. You saw in March when we went down to 10-men against Iceland, we still came out with the win. It showed the resilience in the group. We showed everyone on Friday that we have that fight in us.


“We just need to come into the game with a strong mentality, wanting to win and hopefully it will make us get the win tomorrow. The first couple of games are always important to lay down a marker, to start as you mean to go on.”

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