Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy has poured cold water on the notion he could inject his team with youth for the crucial Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia, describing the trip to Bratislava as "a game for hard-nosed pros".

McCarthy name-checked Jayson Molumby (Millwall), Jason Knight (Derby County), Adam Idah (Norwich City) and Troy Parrot (Spurs) when praising the form of Ireland's younger prospects.

However, he shot down any suggestion he'll significantly shake up his team for the 26 March showdown.

"It's interesting, I've not had one question about Aaron Connolly today. Why? Because he's not playing is he?" he told RTÉ 2fm's Game On at the FAI launch of the Intersport Elverys Summer Soccer Schools in Dublin.

"We've got new kids on the block. We've got Jayson Molumby, Jason Knight, Adam Idah, Troy Parrott has signed a new contract - but just signing a new contract doesn't make him a good player. Playing football makes him a better player. 

"I know what it's like making your debut for your country, and I know what it's like making your senior debut in a competitive game. It's nerve-racking. I think you need some game time. I get that everybody would like to see me picking all these lads, but it's not going to happen.

"Somebody could come right out of the pack and you go, 'hold on', and he knocks everybody out. But, it's not really a game for (debutants). It's a game for hard-nosed pros."

The likes of Shane Long and James McCarthy have both been shining in the Premier League with Southampton and Crystal Palace respectively.

Neither player has really featured under McCarthy in this qualification campaign and the manager seemed to suggest they'll find it tough to break into his plans as he accentuated his loyalty to those who've served him well thus far. 

"You know I'm loyal to players and I always have been," he said.

"I'm loyal to players who give everything, want to come in, want to turn up, whether they're playing or not they still come and make training sessions good. We all know who they are. I know who they are, and I give loyalty to them. 

"Look if they play two or three games and they don't play well or they're not good when they come in to the squad, I wouldn't be loyal to them. But we don't get in for much time to change it. We've got four days to prepare for this game against Slovakia."

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