'I think the players will follow and listen' - Matt Doherty backs 'great fit' Mick McCarthy
Wolves defender Matt Doherty has backed Mick McCarthy to succeed as the Republic of Ireland manager after returning to the role for a second time.
McCarthy has been given a two-year contract with a target of qualifying for Euro 2020 before he will hand over the reins to new Under-21 boss Stephen Kenny.
"He's obviously done it before and it's something that interests him," Doherty told The Offside Rule Exclusives. "I think he's a great fit."
Former Millwall, Sunderland, Wolves and Ipswich boss McCarthy was previously in charge of the Republic for six years from 1996, leaving the post a few months after the 2002 World Cup, where he had a bust-up with his then captain, Roy Keane.
Doherty was brought to English football by McCarthy when he signed for Wolves in 2010, and he is looking forward to working with him once again.
"I have a lot of respect for Mick," he said. "He was the manager when I first came over [at Wolves], he made me train with the first team and made me improve.
"He's just a really nice guy and a good manager. He did a great job at Ipswich, for the longest time, he did an unbelievable job.
"I remember when I first came in [at Wolves], he was intimidating, scary. I didn't want to walk past him in the corridor. When I first came over, I didn't know what to call the manager. He came down and I said, 'you alright, Mick?' and everyone calls him boss! He didn't say anything at the time.
"He's not even trying to be scary, but he just has an aura about him which means when he speaks, you listen to him."
Doherty will be hoping to make a greater impact for the Republic under McCarthy than he was able to do under Martin O'Neill, who first called him up in March 2016 but waited two full years to give him a debut, with his first start only coming last month against Denmark.
"It's frustrating because you think you can make a difference and help," Doherty said.
"You can be as good as you want but if someone likes a different player for whatever reason you have to respect that and hope eventually you get the chance and then take it and stay there."
With a succession plan already in place for Kenny to take over in two years' time, McCarthy's goals are almost entirely built around reaching Euro 2020, and Doherty believes the pieces are in place.
"There's talented players in the Ireland set-up and if we can get all us gelling together, you'll have a good team," he said.
"That's going to be the manager's job. I think the players will follow and listen."
:: Matt Doherty was speaking to The Offside Exclusives (offsiderulepodcast.com)