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McCOURT AIMING TO KICK-START SEASON

26 January 2016

Midfielder eyeing progress for club and country

Paddy McCourt is hoping his performance at Mansfield on Saturday can kick-start his and the Town's season.

The Northern Ireland international is also playing for a place at this summer's European Championships and the 31-year-old believes the arrival of Nathan Jones can help him and the Hatters in the second half of the season.

"The gaffer was a big say on me going to Brighton," McCourt told Hatters Player after the 2-0 win at Mansfield, which also saw the midfielder set-up Pelly Ruddock's second goal.

"I spoke to him a few times in the summer and he was sort of pushing it. Sami Hyypia wasn't quite sure who I was because I'd spent a lot of my career in Scotland. I don't think he knew, but Jonesy – the manager now – pushed him and got me in the door.

"He's come here now and I know a lot about him.

"He's a very, very, very good coach as I'm sure you've probably read. I think we'll get better. It's only been two or three weeks since he's come in but two clean sheets and four points is not a disastrous start."

Saturday’s strike was McCourt’s first for the Town since his arrival in the summer on what was only his eighth start in League 2 this term.

And midfielder has felt the disappointment of his stop-start campaign so far.

"It was very frustrating because I’d got in the team and we won three games in a row [Mansfield, Wimbledon and Morecambe] and then I went away and played the internationals.

"I played one game after and that was it. I don't know why. I asked the [now previous] manager and he ended up getting up leaving but it was very disappointing because I felt that, although I wasn't where I wanted to be in terms of performances, I was playing and we were winning games.

"But now there’s an opportunity to push on under the new manager and it’s important as a team to push on."

You can watch the whole interview with Paddy on Hatters Player.


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