Mick McCarthy was unveiled as the new Irish manager on Sunday, during a press conference at the Aviva Stadium, as the FAI look to usher in the post-Martin O’Neill era.
Rumours had been swirling around during the week following the news on Wednesday that Martin O’Neill would be stepping away from his role as the Irish manager alongside his assistant Roy Keane.
Ireland struggled during the last year of O’Neill’s tenure, with the Boys in Green winning just one of their nine games in 2018 and suffering relegation from their inaugural UEFA Nations League group.
Speaking to the media during his unveiling on Sunday McCarthy was in high spirits ahead of his return to the helm of the Irish senior team.
“We’ll see if it’s a good decision to come back. I was never going to turn the chance down to manage Ireland.”
McCarthy also spoke in-depth about his new backroom staff which will consist of former Wolves manager Terry Connor and Ireland’s record goalscorer Robbie Keane.
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The former Ipswich manager outlined that Connor has been his assistant in a number of jobs since 2006 and also highlighted the reasoning behind his inclusion of Keane as part of his backroom staff.
“Terry has been with me since 2006. Robbie asked me would I consider him in a coaching role. I gave it some thought and I had to say yes. I like the idea of a young coach who’s got bright ideas. I think he’ll have a real affinity with the younger players.”
He also joked that Keane was “cheeky” to ask him or a role in the first place, but despite this the former Spurs and Liverpool striker was still selected by McCarthy.
“Robbie was suggested to me by Robbie. At first, I thought you cheeky bollox!”
The FAI also officially announced that Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny would be taking over as the Irish U21s boss and will be replacing McCarthy at the helm of the senior side following Euro 2020.
McCarthy outlined that he did not know the new Irish U21s boss but that he was planning on sitting down with him soon as he looks to build a relationship with Kenny.