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Play-off win could have altered Irish discussions - former boss McCarthy

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Changing of guard: Mick McCarthy speaking with his successor Stephen Kenny in May last year. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Changing of guard: Mick McCarthy speaking with his successor Stephen Kenny in May last year. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Changing of guard: Mick McCarthy speaking with his successor Stephen Kenny in May last year. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Mick McCarthy has admitted that getting the Euros play-offs in before the expiry of his contract might have changed the discussions around his future in the Ireland job.

The 61-year-old articulated the view in a weekend interview where he touched on his regrets in a wide-ranging chat where he stressed his ambitions to return to the game as soon as possible - whether that's in the club or international sphere.

McCarthy's exit from Ireland was confirmed once it became apparent that the European Championships play-offs would not take place before his contract expired on July 31.

Those games were initially moved from March to June before it became apparent that was unrealistic. McCarthy was of the opinion that securing qualification would have resulted in serious debate about the handover and it's known that senior figures within the FAI shared that view.

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However, that was all rendered hypothetical by the second postponement which made it easier for those who argued that date-bound contracts simply had to be respected.

Convinced

"I am absolutely convinced if we'd have won (play-offs) in June and qualified for next year, then everybody would have thought I'd have been taking the Euros. But that wasn't to be," McCarthy told 'The Athletic'.

"It's unfortunate. But coronavirus has caused far more serious problems to a lot of people other than me.

"It was a non-starter that I was going to stay on. So the best course of action was to leave and let Stephen (Kenny) take it and then he can plan for it."

McCarthy did leave on good terms with the Ireland squad and is hoping that a strong rapport with players across his time in the dugout will be considered a positive in his attempts to get back into the game.

He has repeatedly spoken of his desire to reach 1,000 games in the dugout and is now 23 short of that impressive haul.

"I've never heard any player say they don't trust me, and that is a big thing for me," he said.

"Because if you've got the trust of them… even when you're leaving them out of the team, tell them and tell them the right reasons. Don't tell them lies. Sometimes the truth is a bit raw. But I don't dress it up. I won't give them bulls**t."

Meanwhile, Kenny has continued with his plans to examine every part of his backroom team, and the senior squad will have new kitmen when they next report.

Mick Lawlor and Dick Redmond had run that side of the operations but the latter confirmed the planned changes over the weekend.

Irish Independent