'He has done something and he has to live with it' - Mick McCarthy reacts to Richard Keogh injury
Mick McCarthy says that injured defender Richard Keogh will "have to live" with his decisions after the car crash which ended the player's involvement in Euro 2020.
Keogh (33) has played in every minute of every game under McCarthy but has now been ruled out for 15 months due to a double knee injury which he sustained when he was a passenger in a car driven by a Derby County team-mate who was charged with drink-driving offences.
McCarthy has spoken to Keogh but would not attack the Rams man.
"I am disappointed he is not playing in any of the games. He has done something and he has to live with it," McCarthy said when asked if he was disappointed with Keogh's actions.
"Let he who is without first sin cast the first stone. He was in the car, he didn't expect to be in that stage when he got home and people have to live with their decisions, but he is a great bloke.
"They (players) get penalised far more when they do something wrong. He was pretty sore when spoke to him," he added when asked about Keogh's future.
"I didn't have that discussion with him, I rang to see how he was and to offer my support as he's been a fabulous player, it was a terrible injury, the two operations he has to have and that was my phone call, a bit of support."
McCarthy also said he was "optimistic" that injury victims Shane Duffy and David McGoldrick could be fit for Euro 2020 qualifying action next week, even though they have not made it into his squad for the away double-header against Georgia and Switzerland.
McCarthy named a 24-man panel for the games, with the main talking points being the omission of long-serving trio Robbie Brady, Shane Long and James McCarthy, and the non-selection of Brighton youngster Aaron Connolly.
The Ireland boss - who was also grilled on the exit from the FAI of John Delaney, but ducked questions apart from saying that "I have a bit of thanks to him for giving me the job" - did not include Duffy or McGoldrick but he has not ruled out a late summons if the pair can prove their fitness.
"I am still holding out for Duffer, there is a bit of optimism there," McCarthy said.
"They said it would be 4-6 weeks. Before one game, Georgia here, he had a groin strain and we thought he'd miss the game but he was fine, so I'd have a bit of optimism.
"Players want to play and they will give me the best-case scenario, I like that from players but until I get an absolute 'no' from him or the club, the medics, I will have that bit of optimism".
McCarthy also said that McGoldrick could feature despite an injury which has seen him left out of the squad, for now.
"I could call him up if I needed to, TC [Terry Connor] saw him last week and he was impressed with him," he said, adding that "I'm not sure it's the game for debutants", in relation to Connolly being left out to remain with the U21 panel.