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The Republic of Ireland manager believes that the Wigan Athletic midfielder can gain confidence with a good performance against Spain by playing against famous players

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni believes that James McCarthy has a "great opportunity" to develop as a footballer by playing against Spain in New York on Tuesday night.

McCarthy could face the likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi, and Sergio Busquets as the Boys in Green take on the World and European Champions at Yankee Stadium. "Yesterday I said 'James, in this game you have this great opportunity to play against the famous and most important players', because I became famous when I was like James," Trapattoni told the BBC.

"I played against Pele, Cruyff, Eusebio - they were the best players in the world. I grew because I took confidence because I could play against them. I told McCarthy he must believe. He has vision, he has good shooting, but he can be more enterprising."

Trapattoni has also been impressed with recent performance of Derby County duo Jeff Hendrick and Conor Sammon, with the players featuring in Ireland's recent international run. "I think very much about our players who play in the Championship and not in the Premier League," said Trapattoni. "For example, Conor Sammon, Hendrick, they play Championship, and I have to ask why when I see the games in the Premier League and the way they play with us. Quality is quality."

The Republic of Ireland face Spain at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night at 01:00 BST.