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Mick McCarthy explains why spell in charge of APOEL FC didn’t work out

Troy Parrott loan

Mick McCarthy has seen many ups and downs in his storied managerial career but few experiences were as brief as his spell in charge of APOEL FC.

Some eyebrows were raised last November when Mick McCarthy accepted his first club role outside of England by becoming manager of Cypriot side, APOEL FC.

After two months during which McCarthy only managed two wins out of eight, the former Republic of Ireland international parted company with the Cypriot club.

Having just signed Irish midfielder Jack Byrne days earlier, McCarthy was relieved of his duties but the veteran manager was always confident that another opportunity would be just around the corner.

“It was a different culture there and a different way for me of managing a team,” McCarthy explained to Sky Sports. “You are the coach there, and they have other team managers who run the club.

“It was all going okay until we had 19 players out with Covid-19 and lost four on the bounce. I ended up having to play some kids for a few weeks.

Mick McCarthy

“I didn’t want it to happen, of course, and training in shorts and a T-shirt in December is unheard of! But we said it might be the best sacking we ever had because there might be someone having a bit of a tough time who might need us, and we got more publicity coming back than we did going out there.

“I was coming back from Nicosia on the plane with TC and I said to him it might be an opportune moment for us. I got the call [from Cardiff] and I was free and willing to take the job until the end of the season. It worked out in our favour.”

A fortnight after losing the APOEL job, McCarthy took over at Cardiff City and if there were any doubts about his ability following his ill-fated spell in Cyprus, the 62-year-old wasted no time in quelling them as the Bluebirds are unbeaten since his arrival.

McCarthy’s early achievements have taken Cardiff to within touching distance of the play-offs and have also earned him a two-year contract with the Welsh side.

Last week, McCarthy took charge of his 1,000th game in management but he shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

“I took the job being prepared for it to just be until the end of the season, to see what we could do and to prove my credentials,” McCarthy continued. “I’ve got a pretty good record in this league, and a lot of experience in it.

“The hope was then to get a new contract for me and TC, and it’s happened so we’re delighted. It’s a fabulous club and I’ve said before that I’m surprised that people who have been here have not said that to me.

“It’s so professional, everything has been laid on and we have been looked after really well. And that was from day one, even prior to the seven wins!”

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