July 14, 2024

‘Martin will be feeling a bit raw so I’ll leave him alone and you’re probably right, I won’t be speaking to Roy’ – Mick McCarthy is unveiled as new Ireland manager. Again.

MICK McCarthy said he could not resist taking over again as Ireland manager when the post was offered to him a few days ago by the FAI.

At his introductory press conference today, McCarthy confirmed he would not be staying on beyond 2020.

“If we do really well in the next two years, then there might be a Premier League job there for me, if we don’t, then you won’t want me to stay,” he told reporters.

McCarthy said he will meet Declan Rice soon with a view to persuading the West Ham starlet to throw in his lot with the Republic of Ireland.

“I’ll be doing that soon, and I suppose, and I hope, I’m a wiser manager now than 20 years ago and I can bring something new to the task of improving the team. And Declan could be part of that,” he added.

Inevitably Saipan came up, but McCarthy opted not to take a dig at his old nemesis, simply saying neither he nor Roy Keane should have their careers judged by the infamous events of 2002.

“I’ve the utmost respect for Roy, he was a wonderful player, who did so much to get us to Japan and Korea and he has been a great player. I hope I’m a better manager now too,” he said.

Robbie Keane will be part of the management group. Ireland’s record goalscorer was in the Aviva Stadium for the press conference, but would not speak to the media, saying he would do so sometime in the future.

The new manager insisted that it was Robbie who suggested to him being part of the backroom team.

“My first thought was ‘you cheeky b****x’, but then I copped that Robbie will bring his special talents to the squad. For all of those players he’s a hero for what he did with our team.  They will learn from Robbie.”

When it was put to McCarthy that the Irish supporters were now disillusioned with the team, he added: “It’s my job to get this place rocking. It used to rock when I was playing and then when I was manager too. But that’s what we’ve got to do.”

FAI Chief Executive John Delaney confirmed that Stephen Kenny will be responsible for all Irish under-age teams as well as the Under-21’s until he takes over the senior side. “That’s the vision we have, that’s where we’re going, with Stephen and Ruud Dokter leading the way,” said Delaney.

When asked if he would be consulting Martin O’Neill or Roy Keane about the Irish players, McCarthy said: “Martin will be feeling a bit raw so I’ll leave him alone and you’re probably right, I won’t be speaking to Roy.”



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