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Mick McCarthy Admits He Asked For A Longer Stint With Ireland

Mick McCarthy Admits He Asked For A Longer Stint With Ireland
By Gary Connaughton
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Mick McCarthy made an appearance on the Goals on Sunday couch this morning, in what was his first appearance as a pundit since returning to the Republic of Ireland manager job.

While the subject of Declan Rice's potential return to the Irish fold quickly arose, the conversation soon turned to Ireland's Euro 2020 qualifying campaign. McCarthy admitted that the draw was tough, but most certainly doable.

When the draw was made and we were in with Germany and Holland, but you couldn't have three host nations together, so we got moved and we ended up with Denmark and Switzerland. There was a collective sigh of relief, like those two teams weren't any good.

Well, Switzerland are one of the form teams in Europe, and Denmark have beaten us in the last two competitions. I find that those teams are even harder to play against, because they don't have the 'wow' factor of Germany, France, or Spain, but they're just as good...

It's not an easy group, but if we get it going at home again we can get results against all of them.

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The presenting duo of Ben Shephard and Chris Kamara then asked how the former Ipswich boss felt about the prospect of being replaced by Stephen Kenny after the campaign, an arrangement that they seemed slightly perplexed by.

McCarthy admitted that while he would have preferred two campaigns at the helm, he was still happy with the scenario.

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I went in and was looking for two terms, of course I was. You have to remember that I've got no friendlies or games to prepare for it, so it would have been nice to have both the Euros and the World Cup. But it was in place that they wanted Stephen to be in.

Bearing in mind that in the League of Ireland he's done very very well, he's done well in the Europa League, and I think that they would like to see that progression.

At the end of course I'm never going to turn it down, I get my shot at qualifying for the Euros and we will see what happens. If we qualify of course it is going to make it harder for me to leave, but that has been agreed and I will leave.

If we do well in the Euros, I'm certain I will get another job elsewhere. If we don't get to the Euros and I don't do well, well they won't want me there anyway, so it's just well there is a successor coming through!

The Ireland manager's time at Ipswich finished on a sour note earlier this year, with an incident when he had to be escorted out of the stadium through a back door after a fixture against Brentford the final straw.

He had been at the end of a torrent of abuse for some time, including during the team's home games. His decision to substitute Irish youngster Barry Cotter in a subsequent game against Barnsley was not well-received, even if McCarthy did recall the game with a hint of fondness.

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After the last game when I took Barry Cotter off, who by the way has not been seen since, I don't know what has happened to Barry... he was brilliant on the day, we took him from Limerick for £50k or something.

He was completely shattered, and when I took him off most of the crowd just booed. He's a young lad Barry, a great lad, and he came running off, and I said to him 'could you not limp?!'

SEE ALSO: Mick McCarthy Reveals He Had 'Really Good Meeting' With Declan Rice

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