EURO 2016: Craig Cathcart feels keeper Gartside can play for country one day

Goalkeeper Nathan Gartside pictured in action for Watford U21 side.
Goalkeeper Nathan Gartside pictured in action for Watford U21 side.

Defender Craig Cathcart believes his Watford teammate Nathan Gartside will be playing for Northern Ireland one day, if he continues to do what he’s doing at Vicarage Road.

The Northern Ireland international believes the ex-Institute goalkeeper has all the attributes to go all the way to the top.

Gartside, who has played for Northern Ireland at underage level, moved to Watford from Drumahoe in 2014 after impressing on trial and this season he has been promoted by manager Quique Sánchez Flores to third choice keeper.

Cathcart has seen the 18-year-old perform in training and he believes that in the not too distance future he will need to start gaining match day experiences and may need to go out on loan.

“He has been doing really well, he’s now developed over the last couple of years and he has been travelling with us because our third choice keeper got injury, so he has been travelling with the squad week in, week out,” said Cathcart.

“He’s learning something every day and he’s a good character as well, he’s a nice lad to have in and around the squad.

“As long as he keep his feet on the ground I’m sure he’ll do well in the game.

“He’s a level-headed lad so I’m sure he’ll be fine in that respect but he’s getting to the age now where he really needs to be thinking about going out on loan and getting games and some experience and I’m sure it won’t be too long before you see him in the Northern Ireland shirt.”

Cathcart has played a major role in The Hornets fantastic season, which he hopes will end with a trip to Wembley, before jetting off to France in June.

“At the start of the year I said to be safe with Watford in the Premier League and head away with Northern Ireland to the Euros would top it off and to add that little bit of FA Cup semi-final and a chance to get to a majority competition final as well is unbelievable,” added the ex-Manchester United man.

I’m sure it won’t be too long before you see him in the Northern Ireland shirt.

Craig Cathcart

“We couldn’t have wished for any more and hopefully I can finish the season well and then I have the Euros to look forward as well.

“The momentum is carried on now. We are 10 games unbeaten and we are turning into a team that’s hard to beat and winning a lot of games.

“We want to keep this momentum going in the next two friendlies and keep the confidence up.

“Hopefully we can carry on the record and carry it into the tournament with absolutely even higher confidence.”

The 27-year-old has played alongside West Brom Albion duo Gareth McAuley and Jonny Evans in a three man defence and he feels which every team or formation Michael O’Neill selects for Euro 2016 the players will be ready.

“Playing together we are adaptability and we have a lot of players who can play either positions or either formation and we have a lot of players who play in different positions for their clubs so it’s normal for them,” he added.

“I think it was something we needed to look at so that we can adapt in games especially against the teams of a higher level, we might want to make tactically changes and I think it was a successful couple of games for us.

“We have learned a lot from them and hopefully we can carry on into the tournament with it.”