By Graham Hill
VILLA midfielder Glenn Whelan has been labelled as ‘remarkable’ as he aims to extend his international career at the age of 35.
The Irishman has played a key role in Villa’s four game winning run which has propelled Dean Smith’s side into the play-off zone.
And Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy says he is a fan of the ex-Stoke battler.
Ireland face Gibraltar and Georgia in Euro qualifiers this week.
But it was thought Whelan would not play any part in them after his ‘farewell’ game against Northern Ireland last November.
However, McCarthy told Dublin Live: “I think he’s remarkable.
“Is he 35 now? He’s playing and he doesn’t look like the old man on the pitch, that’s for sure.
“He looks like an experienced player.”
Whelan has 85 caps for Ireland and says he is not in the squad this time just to make up the numbers.
McCarthy added: “We’ve not seen anything in him that suggests to me he can’t cope with playing in both the games in quick succession.
“He’s playing in the Championship as well where they have to go Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday. I don’t know how many times he’s done that but he’s okay, he’s fit.”