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McCarthy backs Keane

MICK McCarthy has backed his former World Cup adversary Roy Keane after he was sacked by Ipswich.

After their high-profile fall-out in 2002, Keane and his former Ireland team-mate and boss have since returned to speaking terms, and McCarthy said he had sympathy for the Corkman.

"He was a colleague as a manager and I don't want to see managers losing their jobs. There's no animosity between myself and Roy. I've spoken to him loads about players so I don't like to see him lose his job," McCarthy said.

"The average stay... tenure... is 15 months in the Championship and Roy has just done 20. The mortality rate in the job is not good, to be fair."

The pressure will now be on Roy Hodgson, Avram Grant and Gerard Houllier over the next few weeks and the former Ireland manager advised: "Just keep dodging the red dot whenever it lands on you. You've got to be a good dodger!

"What are they (clubs) going to do? Sack all the players? You can only do it twice a season anyway. We know we are responsible.

"There are some ridiculous ones. I am not blaming the media but once someone starts to struggle it's 'let's hear from all the idiots who want to phone in' and 'let's get shot of him because he's having a tough time'."

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