Saturday 1 October 2016

Mick McCarthy backs Ireland to improve from 2012 flop

Published 12/02/2016 | 02:30

Ireland players react during dismal Euro 2012 campaign
Ireland players react during dismal Euro 2012 campaign

Mick McCarthy believes that the Ireland squad travelling to France this summer have a chance to atone for what he considered a surprisingly poor show at Euro 2012.

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The former Ireland boss, who was linked with a return before Martin O'Neill was appointed, thinks that the underdog role could still bring the best out of the current crop.

"It's reminiscent of the group we had in Poland, the group of death it was called that time and it seems to be the same again," said the Ipswich boss yesterday.

"Over the years we've always produced when we've been underdogs, that's part of our make-up, part of our DNA and it was a surprise we didn't in Poland, so perhaps this time we will - and let's hope we do."

In the course of a discussion with Ray D'Arcy on RTE, McCarthy spoke about consistent links with a second crack at the Irish hot-seat and indicated that any discussions have generally involved third parties or members of the media.

Respected

"I think I've been in the running because of my name and I did a good job when I was there; I think I'm respected there but people put two and two together and expect it to happen," he said.

McCarthy faced the usual questions about O'Neill's assistant to Roy Keane and gave most of the same answers, stressing that he fully expects to be asked about the Corkman when he's 80.

Meanwhile, back home, Galway United manager Tommy Dunne has achieved his mission from a recent trip to the FIFPRO Tournament in Norway by completing a deal for Armin Aganovic.

The centre-half hails from a Bosnian background and grew up in Sweden, who he represented in the four-nation tournament. He ended up scooping the player of the tournament gong and accepted an invitation to train with Galway for a week.

Aganovic, who was most recently on the books of Mjallby AIF, fancied a fresh challenge and has signed a one-year deal.

"I got a few calls and one of them was from Galway and when I spoke to Tommy Dunne, it sounded really interesting and the things I heard about football in Ireland got my attention," said the 21-year-old.

"I wanted to come over to check it out for myself, to get a feeling of my own and I was very impressed. It's a nice city, I have good team-mates and Tommy's philosophy and passion is something that got me really interested.

"The players were very welcoming and that always helps you to make a decision."

Midfielder Alex Byrne has also penned a new contract as he continues to recuperate from injury.

Irish Independent

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