Home Football “He’s Got The Best Job” – Mick McCarthy On Succession Plan

“He’s Got The Best Job” – Mick McCarthy On Succession Plan

“It’s me that’s come in, could’ve quite easily took a brickbat by drawing in Gibraltar or lost in Gibraltar, that’s protected him from that.”

Mick McCarthy had a lot to say following Ireland’s 3-1 victory over Bulgaria in a friendly on Tuesday night.

Alan Browne, Kevin Long and James Collins got the goals for Ireland against modest opposition. But it was a positive night for the fringe players in the team and the manager.Jack Byrne and Josh Cullen were particularly impressive.

However, following the game, McCarthy ended up speaking about the Ireland Under-21 team, who recorded a fantastic 3-1 victory away to Sweden in their own qualifier earlier in the night. Troy Parrott came off the bench to score twice for Stephen Kenny’s side.

There has been widespread praise for the team, with many calling for McCarthy to promote several of the players. Many Ireland fans are also keenly anticipating Kenny taking over as senior manager next summer. However, McCarthy asked for some perspective on the team and the situation he has been placed in.

“I’ve just been saying to the TV, the 21s have not qualified for anything, have they?” the Ireland manager said in his post-match press conference.

“I sent Stephen a text today, I said good luck, all the best. They’ve got a good team, that is a good team, and I said that before the game. I think they’re solid in all departments, for me to take them unnecessarily away from that, unless of course, Troy Parrott gets in the team at Tottenham or Connolly gets in the team, Molumby I really like.”

McCarthy defended his decision to not call-up any of Kenny’s team to the senior squad for the friendly against Bulgaria. The Ireland boss said that he deserved some credit for leaving the Under-21s with a full squad, as they would not have beaten Sweden otherwise.

Until now, McCarthy has avoided speaking about the FAI arrangement that will see Kenny replace him next August. But on Tuesday evening, he suggested that he thinks the Under-21 manager, and future Ireland boss, has got the better end of the deal and that he has “got the best job.”

“If I’d have took them today and gave them half a game, and the 21s got beat – so you might give me a bit of credence for that,” he said.

“Stephen, I think at the moment, he’s got the best job. I come in and we got the results and built the momentum, however we’ve done it. Stephen’s got the 21s, they’re his team. You’re all talking about coming into the first team, but when he gets the job, it’s not going to be that long now, he’s perfectly placed. It’s me that’s come in, could’ve quite easily took a brickbat by drawing in Gibraltar or lost in Gibraltar, that’s protected him from that.”

McCarthy went on to say that, ultimately, results will decide if the arrangement was a good one. He also said he is “delighted” for Kenny and his team.

“Hopefully we qualify, get to the Euros and it will be seen as a really good decision to have done what we did. I’m delighted for him, Keith Andrews, Jim Crawford and the rest of his staff. I thought Friday night they were different class.

“I didn’t think the opposition were great but they’ve gone today and beaten Sweden and in fairness, Troy Parrott has gone with them and Stephen didn’t pick him. So, what I do love about Parrott is that when he is left out of the team he came on and had an effect instead of sulking. Fair play to him I’m delighted for him.”

McCarthy was also asked how can Parrott earn a call-up to the senior squad. He said the young forward must get into Tottenham’s first-team before he gets a place in the Ireland squad.

“Get in the first team. You do realise that the U21s and the U23s where he’s playing is far-removed from where we are playing, don’t you?

“There’s a huge difference. If I think he’s right, I’ll take him. We’ll try and get him watched. It’s interesting if he hadn’t come on and scored his goals, I wonder what would the questions had he not come on, because Stephen’s not played him?”

About Robert Redmond