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'It is now very real and very frightening for us' - Ireland boss Mick McCarthy in self-isolation

The 61-year-old is taking the measure as a precaution after two neighbours were diagnosed with coronavirus.

Mick McCarthy (file pic).
Mick McCarthy (file pic).
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

IRELAND BOSS MICK McCarthy has revealed he is in self-isolation after two neighbours were diagnosed with coronavirus.

The 61-year-old had been due to manage Ireland against Slovakia in a crucial Euro 2020 play-off this week, but that game was among a raft of postponements owing to the crisis.

The coach is now urging people to adhere to social-distancing rules over the coming weeks.

“I should have been on the training ground at Abbotstown with the players today, getting ready for Slovakia and working on shapes and game plans,” McCarthy told FAI.ie.

“Instead, I am back home in Bromley and isolating as two of our near neighbours have been diagnosed with coronavirus and it is now very real and very frightening for us.

“Like so many others, we are trying so hard to play by the rules here and stay at home. My wife Fiona and I are not seeing our children or our grandchildren and it’s tough.

We are doing what the authorities are telling us and that is the message I want to send to everyone in Ireland today. Let’s do as we are told — let’s ensure we listen to the guidelines so that we don’t end up like Italy.

“Please do as the HSE, the Government and the Gardai are telling you. Do it for yourself and for others. We all need to be vigilant now, for our own health and for everyone else. We cannot take a chance with this.

“When the government say don’t congregate in numbers, then please listen to them. When they tell you that it is better to stay at home, listen. Keep your distance. No matter how young or old you are, do as they ask – for all our sakes.”

Having spent weeks working on video analysis of Slovakia with his assistant Terry Connor and FAI Head Performance analyst Ger Dunne, McCarthy is now more than happy with the play-off and the Euros being postponed.

“We were in Amsterdam for the Nations League draw three weeks ago this Tuesday and Covid-19 was a topic of real interest — now it is a pandemic and it is spreading so quickly. Someone sent me the Patient 31 video on WhatsApp from Virgin Radio in Dubai and it is frightening how one woman may have infected thousands of people.

“It is very real now. You look at the footage of the Italian Army carrying coffins from houses and it shows you where this could end up. That’s the threat this poses.

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“Postponing our game in Slovakia and delaying the Euros for a year was the right thing to do. We are not complaining about that, not at all. It was the right decision by Uefa and we fully support it.

Football will come back when the time is right and we have resolved all these issues. For now, we have to take notice of what’s happening in Ireland, in Britain and across Europe and the world.

“We have to take heed and learn the lessons. When you see the sacrifices our doctors, nurses, medical teams and frontline services are making, when you see the work they are doing, we have to say thank you and we have to play our part. Let’s do this together. Let’s stay safe.”

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