Monday 15 July 2019

Mick McCarthy warns Declan Rice not to 'do anything daft' and expects Harry Arter to make Ireland return

Mick McCarthy (inset) is still hopeful of seeing Declan Rice and Harry Arter playing for Ireland again
Mick McCarthy (inset) is still hopeful of seeing Declan Rice and Harry Arter playing for Ireland again

Sam Roberts

Mick McCarthy says he can understand why Declan Rice 'may have been swayed' by Gareth Southgate and England, but urged the 19-year-old not to 'do anything daft' as he considers his international future.

London-born Rice was not named in Ireland's squad for their upcoming games with Wales and Poland, with manager Martin O'Neill revealing that the West Ham star needed more time to decide whether to commit his future to Ireland.

Speaking at the announcement of his new role as a pundit with Virgin Media Sport, the former Ireland player and manager said he could understand Rice's dilemma, and encouraged the teenager to think carefully about his future.

"I understand him," McCarthy told "England had a wonderful World Cup. They had what we had in '88, '90, '94, when the fans were behind them. They had all that euphoria of doing well in a World Cup.

"And if Gareth Southgate has been in his ear and said 'Hey you come and play for us, we've got that young vibrant team', he may well have been swayed.

"Give him a bit of time, somebody's got to be in his ear and make sure he plays for Ireland.

"If I was 19, what would I have done? I would have acted impulsively and done something daft.  So I'm saying to him don't do anything daft and just consider what he's doing, and I hope he plays for Ireland."

English-born McCarthy also qualified to represent both England and Ireland in his time as a player, but despite the backlash over Rice's decision to consider his future, McCarthy said the days of 'resentment' toward English-born players were a thing of the past.

"When I joined in '84 I think there was a bit of resentment towards Eamonn O'Keeffe, Seamus McDonagh, Mick McCarthy, Chris Hughton, who all had English accents.

"That changed a lot for me when I joined Celtic, it certainly changed a lot for me when we qualified for Germany in '88 and we had such a wonderful tournament, and then '90 in the World Cup.

"We're a multi-cultural, cosmopolitan country now where everybody's moving, everyone's moving all over the place. My dad told me I was eligible for Ireland and that's what I chose, and I was proud to do that."

McCarthy also said he believes Harry Arter's international career is far from over after his decision to turn down a call-up this international window, with Martin O'Neill saying the Cardiff man wanted to fully focus on his club commitments.

"He's a good player, I like him. He's had two or three good seasons at Bournemouth, I know now he's at Cardiff.

"He is one of the players that's playing in the Premier League, so I guess that Ireland need him to be in that squad.

"He's got plenty left in him so I'd be surprised if he's given his international career up."

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