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Mick McCarthy disappointed that he couldn’t take Slovakia game for Republic of Ireland

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Mick McCarthy insists he feels no anger towards the way that his second spell in charge of the Republic of Ireland came to an end.

While initially contracted to take charge of the Ireland team until the end of the Euro 2020 campaign, Mick McCarthy was replaced by Stephen Kenny last April after the European Championship was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

McCarthy has since accepted his second club role since leaving the Ireland team, having been appointed new Cardiff City boss on Friday evening, and the 61-year-old has few regrets about the way his spell in charge of the Boys in Green ended.

While acknowledging his disappointment about being unable to lead Ireland into the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Slovakia, McCarthy accepted that there was no way around the transition of power from him to Kenny.

“No, none of that,” McCarthy told The Irish Examiner. “I was disappointed because Covid struck. My disappointment was because my contract didn’t run over and above Covid.

“My contract ended in July and it was never going to be extended beyond that because I accepted Stephen Kenny was taking the job. I left in April and was quite happy to let Stephen get on with it. I left quite happily, [although] disappointed because I wanted to take the Slovakia game, but it just wasn’t feasible and it was Stephen’s time.

Mick McCarthy

“I have no anger, ire, ill-feeling. It was a contractual issue. I loved being back with Ireland and it was an absolute honour to manage them for the second time.”

Before agreeing to take over at Cardiff City until the remainder of the season, McCarthy was in charge of APOEL FC but was relieved of his duties by the Cypriot side two weeks ago.

Mick McCarthy

McCarthy conceded that Covid-19 forced a premature end to his time with Ireland but is grateful that his family has avoided falling ill with coronavirus.

“I was affected because I couldn’t finish my contract [with Ireland],” McCarthy said. “I have not had a serious illness, or lost my house, me or any of my family. Covid is what it is. It’s here.”

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