Mick McCarthy has confirmed that Conor Hourihane will start at left-back for Ireland in Tuesday night's friendly international against Bulgaria at the Aviva Stadium.

It is a case of "nothing ventured, nothing gained" admitted the manager who needs to name a replacement left back for next month's Euro 2020 qualifier as Enda Stevens misses out through suspension.

WIth no regular left back in the squad other than Stevens, the manager decided against calling someone up to the squad and instead asked Hourihane to slot in.

"It's an opportunity to try somebody there. It is a friendly match. I'll see whether Conor can do it. He has a wand of a left foot," said McCarthy.

"He will have no problem playing from there, so let's see what he comes up against, let's see  if he has a flying winger, see if he can cope with that."

We need your consent to load this SoundCloud contentWe use SoundCloud to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

The manager said that midfielder Hourihane was more than happy to accept the challenge as he is anxious to play as much as possible having lost his starting place at Aston Villa in recent weeks.

"He is thrilled, he is looking forward to it. He wants minutes and he wants to play. One of my concerns was his lack of minutes but he was brilliant [against Switzerland], but they could all do with more minutes.

"If it turns out to be a successful venture, then great, and if it doesn't, then nothing ventured nothing gained, except Conor is going to get more minutes when he hasn't been playing at club level.

"I've got options in terms of Greg Cunningham and Stephen Ward, who would come back for a one-off if I needed him.

"Matt Doherty, hopefully his knee should be alright. He has played there."

And McCarthy explained the method to his perhaps perceived madness in asking Hourihane to step out of his comfort zone, as the manager did something similar with Stephen Ward who was transformed from a striker to a defender during his career.

"I remember doing it with Stephen Ward at club level and he ended up having 300-odd league appearances at left back and fifty caps, so that wasn't a bad experiment. I hope it is as successful as that one."

Follow Republic of Ireland v Bulgaria via our live blog on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app, watch on RTÉ2 or listen to live radio commentary on RTÉ 2fm's Game On.