Mick McCarthy pictured this afternoon at the launch of the National Football Exhibition at the University of Limerick. Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
succession plan

McCarthy dismisses 'unfair' question about extending reign beyond Euro 2020

The Ireland senior manager is due to be succeeded in the role next year by current U21 boss Stephen Kenny.

MICK McCARTHY HAS no intention of seeking an extension to his second spell as Republic of Ireland senior manager, irrespective of how his side’s Euro 2020 campaign culminates.

When McCarthy replaced Martin O’Neill last November, the appointment was made on the basis that his tenure will end after next year’s European Championships.

Ireland’s attempt to reach that tournament continued last night when they laboured to a 2-0 win over Gibraltar. The Boys in Green currently sit atop Group D at the midway point of the qualifiers.

Stephen Kenny, the Ireland U21 manager, is due to take the reins from McCarthy next year as part of an unusual succession plan implemented by the FAI. Speaking this afternoon, the current senior boss said he’s not hoping for those terms to be amended.

“I haven’t given it any thought,” McCarthy said at the launch of the National Football Exhibition at the University of Limerick.

“I’ve got four more games to try and qualify for Euro 2020 and I’m hoping that’s going to be the case. If we get there and we do well, and if that’s my last of it, I’ll be delighted. I’m cool. That’s my agreement at the moment.”

Ireland’s bid to qualify for Euro 2020 will conclude with a home game against Denmark in November. Before then, they’ll face Switzerland twice and Georgia away from home.

Stephen Kenny’s U21 side will be back in action tomorrow in the semi-finals of the Toulon Tournament. Having topped a group that contained Mexico, China and Bahrain, the Ireland youngsters will face the might of Brazil in the last four.

While complimenting Kenny for the job he has done with the U21s since parting company with Dundalk, McCarthy insisted that he won’t look to capitalise on the recent governance changes at the FAI by exploring the possibility of scrapping the succession plan. 

When asked, he responded: “No, I’m not looking to do that. That’s completely unfair. Stephen is doing great with the U21s. They’re playing Brazil in the semi-final tomorrow.

“To be asking me that question when there’s an agreement in place that it’s going to happen, that’s not particularly nice, I don’t think.” 

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