Josh Cullen’s international call came as a surprise to the Charlton midfielder.

Cullen has impressed since joining on loan from West Ham, so much so Irish boss Mick McCarthy called him into his squad for their Euro 2020 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia.

The 22-year-old explained how his manager broke the news to him before their trip to Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

“Lee Bowyer told me when I bumped into him in the boot room and he asked if I had heard the news,” said Cullen.

“I said no and he told me, obviously, it was a nice surprise.

“I wasn’t expecting it, I was surprised by it but I have just tried to do my best for Charlton and play as well as I can and then you get the reward in the end, so I am really pleased.”

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Cullen has been used at the base of Bowyer’s midfield diamond and in a more advanced role, impressing wherever he plays.

On the back of domineering displays against Portsmouth and Burton last week, Bowyer was full of praise of his midfielder.

“He protects the back four so well, and when he wins it his distribution is very good,” said Bowyer.

“He blocks, reads, and then drives with it.

“He likes getting forward and in to the box.

“Josh is very good player.”

Dream Come True

Of the chance of representing his country Cullen told CAFC:

“It will be fantastic and it is something I have always dreamt of.

"To do it through the age groups and captaining the U21s was great but I think pulling on the shirt and, if I am lucky enough to play a part, will top all of those feelings.

“I am really excited and I am really looking forward to it.”

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