Mick McCarthy: "Looking back on it, it was bonkers taking the job with the experience I'd had"

Former Ireland manager has been talking in depth to Joe Molloy and Kevin Kilbane

BY Raf Diallo 21:00 Tuesday 11 July 2017, 21:00 11 Jul 2017

Mick McCarthy manager © Billy SticklandINPHO

When Mick McCarthy took on the Ireland job back in 1996 as Jack Charlton's immediate successor, he was only 36 and had only had a limited amount of managerial experience at Millwall over the previous four years.

It was seem to be a daunting step up even for a young man who had captained his country and with the benefit of plenty of hindsight, he reminisced about that elevation when he spoke to Off The Ball's Joe Molloy and Kevin Kilbane at Carton House.

"Looking back on it, it was bonkers taking the job with the experience I'd had," the current Ipswich Town manager admitted.

"And I was only 36. Yeah, I wonder now in hindsight, whether I'd be looking to take it. But you have to understand, when it was offered to me, when I was mooted for the job and then I'd the interview, if I was going to have it offered, I was never ever going to turn it down because I might never get it again."

Mick McCarthy at his first photocall ast the new Republic of Ireland Manager Lansdowne Road © INPHO / Billy Stickland

He added that the 6-7 years in charge of Ireland were amongst the most enjoyable he's experience.

In November, it will be five years since McCarthy took charge of Championship club Ipswich Town and said that "I love it some days more than others, believe me" and that the end of last season was "tough".

From a managerial point of view, he also touched on the way the game has changed - or also hasn't changed in some ways.

"I'm not an old fogey. I've stayed with the modern trends and when I think the modern trends are good, the technology, the nutrition, the strength and conditioning... if there's anything tactical, technical that we can use, I'll use it. But the football is still about keeping it, whatever way you want to do it and whatever system you play, put it in or out of the net and when you haven't got it, it's getting it back," he said, before adding, "Do whatever you want to do, but football hasn't changed".

You can listen to the full interview on the podcast player or stream/download from iTunes on the Highlights from Off The Ball Series:

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