Soccer

Mick McCarthy: "It’s not my job to decide whether he plays for the Republic of Ireland"

Darren Cleary
Darren Cleary

01:29 3 Jan 2019


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Mick McCarthy won't be putting any pressure on Declan Rice to commit to the Republic of Ireland.

The London born West Ham player has already represented the Boys in Green on three occasions at senior international level.

Amid interest from England, Rice has spent a number of months considering his options after asking not to be selected in squads for competitive matches in the Nations League.

The Ireland boss met with the midfielder last month to discuss his international future and says he will give the teenager time to make his final decision.

McCarthy told TalkSport he'd be 'delighted' if Rice opts to play for Ireland rather than England but he 'can't do anymore'.

Mick: If he wants to play for me, I’ll be delighted

“There’s a lot going on for the young man and we say, ‘oh, they should be able to make their minds up’, but he’s a young fella and he’s only just got into the West Ham team.

“I remember saying when I was doing some stuff with Ireland, ‘look, let him get into the West Ham team, let him settle, let him be a first-team player and then he’ll make his mind up’. I’m still of the same opinion.

“If he wants to play for me, I’ll be delighted and I’ll be picking him, but I’ve left it with him. I can’t do anymore. It’s not my job to decide whether he plays for the Republic of Ireland.

Rice recently signed a contract at West Ham until the end of the 2024 season and McCarthy hopes the security surrounding his club future will expedite a decision on his international allegiances:

“There was a real issue with his contract at West Ham and they’ve got that sorted out now, so I guess he’s got his head clear on that and he can make his mind up.

“My job is to pick him if he decides to play for us, and I hope he does because he’s an excellent player. He’s a player I can build a team around.”

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