McCarthy: 'I would take Ireland job'
Mick McCarthy insists he does not have unfinished business with Ireland yet he would willingly grasp a second chance to become manager – but only if there is a vacancy.
“If there’s no manager in it and I’m out of work and someone asked me to do it, of course I’d do it,” said McCarthy.
McCarthy, who still has two years left on his current Ipswich deal, also said that he can see Martin O’Neill returning to the Premier League in the future but is adamant that any speculation surrounding his own return was hypothetical. “Why would I answer a question that has not even been asked? Is there such a desperation for to me to say that I would like to take the Ireland job again?
“I just said if I’m out of work, if there’s nobody in the job, but that’s something completely different. In two months’ time I’ll still have two years left on my contract.
“In two months’ time at the Euros, Ireland might have got through to the semi-finals and be having a great tournament, there might be a party in the park and we’re all singing Martin O’Neill’s name and he might want to sign and stay for another four years.
“I mean that’s hypothetical, so I’d prefer to think that would happen and let’s all be happy about that, let’s look forward and hope it’s a good European Championships and there’s none of this hypothetical nonsense in my point of view.
“I’ve got no unfinished business. I mean, to be unfinished I’d have to get to the quarter-finals or semi-finals of a World Cup to improve on what I did before, or European Championships because I didn’t qualify.
“But that’s the only regret that I have, that we didn’t qualify when we were 1-0 up in Macedonia (in qualifying for Euro 2000). I have no other regrets at all from my time in the job.”
O’Neill has yet to sign a new contract with the FAI which has coincided with him – and assistant Roy Keane – being linked with several high-profile club positions but McCarthy, who once signed a contract extension while at the 2002 World Cup, believes it is not a major issue.
“I don’t think it has a bearing on players,” added McCarthy as he launched a Euro 2016 blog for Paddy Power. “Players are selfish about it, they just want to go and play well for themselves. It’s the ‘King is dead, long live the King’.
“We’ve seen that before haven’t we? A good manager disappears and the players? They just carry on.”