MICK McCARTHY gave up on the good life in the French city of Lyon and signed up for a grim relegation battle with Millwall to make sure he was getting first team football in the run up to the 1990 World Cup finals.
And West Brom man Simon Cox admits that he will consider his club future -- and possibly seek a loan move away from the Hawthorns -- if he's in danger of losing his place in the Irish squad ahead of the Euro 2012 finals.
Cox has come from the wilderness -- "I was nowhere a year ago," he admits -- to become a key member of Giovanni Trapattoni's squad and he may get another chance to shine as a sub in tonight's play-off at home to Estonia.
But he's become a peripheral figure at West Brom this season with only three starts for the Baggies, and he concedes that he will assess things later on this season if he's not in the team.
"If I'm not in the West Brom starting 11 from January onwards, I might have to get a few games out on loan, if it comes to that," Cox told the Herald. "I'm trying not to look too far ahead, for now I am concentrating on tonight's game and the job of finishing off the job of qualification.
"I feel I have done well for Ireland and contributed to the team and maybe now I can carry that form into the West Brom side.
"We have great competition up front now, every striker that we have in the national team squad is in the Premier League and scoring goals so the standard is very high and we all have to work hard to stay in the squad. You have to play well and perform to a good standard if you want to keep playing with Ireland," added Cox.
Some club managers -- stand up Arsene Wenger -- are not at all keen on their players traipsing around the world to play international football but Cox says his boss at the Baggies is not like that.
"The gaffer is a big believer in the players going away on international duty. He calls us all aside for a word before we go away to play for our countries and tells us to enjoy it -- and come back injury free. He likes to see us getting recognition," added Cox.
"Apart from myself and Shane Long -- presuming we qualify and presuming we make the Irish squad -- West Brom won't have too many players at the finals in the summer.
"Jonas Olsson will be there with Sweden but apart from that we have no one in the running, so it would be an honour for a club like West Brom to have three players at the finals."