'I'm not job-hunting until after Euro 2020 finishes' - Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy
REPUBLIC of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy insists he won’t be following in the footsteps of Michael O’Neill and double-jobbing between club and country.
Speaking in Abbotstown ahead of Thursday night’s friendly international against New Zealand and Monday’s Euro 2020 showdown with Denmark – both in Dublin – McCarthy says he has given no thought to his next career move.
The former Ireland captain will hand over the reins to U21 boss Stephen Kenny as soon as their interest in Euro 2020 expires.
Last week, O’Neill took the unusual step of taking over at Stoke City while still holding the Northern Ireland reins until their Euro 2020 qualification campaign finishes.
O’Neill got his managerial bow with Stoke off to a flying start last weekend with a 4-2 away win over Barnsley.
The Ballymena man will also be on the north’s sidelines as they take on Holland and Germany over the coming days and will still be around for Northern Ireland’s Euro 2020 play-off next March.
McCarthy will be looking for a new job once his fixed contract with the FAI ends.
Asked would be consider a similar move to his northern counterpart, McCarthy said: "No, no, not at all. The job market is that fluid that thinking what might be available to me now might be bonkers as it will all change.
"I haven't given it any thought. I've got these games to play and I'm hoping that I'll be in the job until July [after the Euro 2020 finals]. Then I will think about if after that."
There is a good chance the Republic will feature in the Euro play-offs next March but should they cause an upset and beat Denmark in their final game in Group D on Monday night they will qualify for next summer’s finals.
Skipper Seamus Coleman is suspended for Monday night’s clash with the Danes, while veteran Glenn Whelan, now at Hearts, has shaken off injury and will be eager to see some minutes against New Zealand.
Goalkeeper Darren Randolph is likely to be wrapped in cotton wool between now and Monday night to ensure he doesn’t suffer a recurrence of a thigh injury.
The first choice ‘keeper played in Middlesbrough’s 2-2 draw with QPR last weekend.
David McGoldrick of Sheffield United has returned to full fitness after missing last month’s double header games against Georgia and Switzerland and will almost certainly not be risked against New Zealand.
The Republic boss is expected to play a second string on Thursday with Troy Parrott, Josh Cullen, Jack Byrne and Robbie Brady all expected to feature.
Depending on how Brady performs, the Burnley man could be involved against Denmark after getting back in the frame at club level after a long spell out with a knee injury.
The 27-year-old made a late substitute appearance in Burnley’s 3-0 win over West Ham at the weekend. The most he has played was 65 minutes against Leicester City on October 19.
“Robbie played in one game and then he had 20 minutes in another and two or three minutes. Quite clearly, he was fit enough to play in the [Leicester] game.
“But having five-10 games on the bounce, that’s when you’re really at it. And then, of course, there’s a balancing act: if I do start him [against New Zealand] and he plays really well, how long do I play him? Denmark is going to be different to the New Zealand game.
"I don’t doubt we’ll have a real competitive game [on Thursday] but just the build-up and everything for the Denmark game will be different.”