Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has said Jack Byrne is showing form that "could be very handy" for the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-final play-off with Slovakia later this month.

Byrne scored his third goal of the SSE Airtricity Premier Division season in Shamrock Rovers' 3-2 win over Sligo Rovers last Saturday in The Showgrounds.

Senior team head performance analyst Ger Dunne has sent footage of Byrne's display and goal from the game in Sligo to management. 

"If Jack is in the squad on Friday – and there’s every chance he will be – then he will be in on form," McCarthy told

"I was impressed with him in Tallaght against Dundalk and he carried that form into the game in Sligo so he is playing consistently well at present.

"Jack’s been with us for the past year now and he is developing as a player as we want him to. He has a spark about him and can do something a little bit different.

"That could be very handy in a tight play-off game."

McCarthy also expects to have both Enda Stevens and James McClean fit for selection in Bratislava.

He stated: "James has told me he is very close to a return to action with Stoke after his knee injury while Enda was taken off early in the second half of Sheffield United’s 1-0 win over Norwich on Saturday with some tightness in his calf.

"They are both confident they will be fit for the play-off and that’s good to hear."

Josh Cullen is another player catching McCarthy’s eye as he witnessed him in action for club Charlton.

Cullen was in the midfield in Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Middlesbrough.

"After his injury problems earlier in the season, Josh is now back to fitness and back to his best as he showed me again on Saturday," added the Ireland manager.

"He is very close to a first competitive cap and has been pushing for a place in my team for some time now, never mind the squad. 

"Terry Connor watched Glenn Whelan control the game for Fleetwood at Ipswich last week so we are very well served in that central midfield role at the moment."

Scott Hogan again pushed his claims for Slovakia with another goal for loan club Birmingham and could also be forcing his way into his thoughts to play. 

"That’s seven goals in nine games now," McCarthy said.  

"Terry has seen a lot of Scott in recent weeks and his confidence is sky high. That’s not a surprise with the way he has been scoring goals for Birmingham.

"This latest loan move has worked out really well for Scott and for Ireland as well. If he brings those goalscoring boots to Slovakia we will all be happy."