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Mick McCarthy on Windsor Park:...
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Mick McCarthy on Windsor Park: "Intimidated? No, I don't think so"

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

11:44 11 Feb 2020

The task for the Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy is, in his own words straightforward if not easy.

"Just try and win two away games, it's not going to be easy is it." said the Yorkshireman at the launch of the FAI Summer Soccer Schools camps this week.

The next game could be McCarthy's last as Ireland head-coach as could the following one if Slovakia are defeated in Bratislava late next month.

Mick McCarthy is doing his best to concentrate on the now and not the getting too far beyond the imminent European Championships play-off semi-final with Slovakia.

Focus

A potential clash in Belfast could be on the cards for the Boys in Green, but McCarthy says that's not his focus just yet.

"Northern Ireland are in Bosnia so they have got a real tough task. I've not given it that much consideration either.

"No, because the only way it affects us is if we beat Slovakia, so I should really be putting all my efforts into thinking about that.

The Italia '90 skipper did eventually concede he was somewhat aware of the other play-off semi-final.

"Don't get me wrong I've got a little bit of an eye on it, but in terms of who's winning it, I have no idea because I've not watched them.

"I've seen Northern Ireland play because we watch lots of their games, but I've not seen Bosnia play, and I'm not going to really concentrate on them until I've got my head around Slovakia."

Intimidated

An all-island of Ireland  European Championship play-off decider at a hostile Winsdor Park is not something that will phase McCarthy.

"I'm not going to be intimidated or scared going to Windsor Park to be quite honest and I don't think the players would either.

"If that's where we end up because we've beaten Slovakia and they've beaten Bosnia then brilliant.

"I'd be delighted, we're in the final then, but being intimidated, no I don't think so."

While he would be delighted to play in Belfast, McCarthy says the experience is one for senior pro's, who won't be affected by the atmosphere.

"If the (senior) players Darren Randolph, the Doc or Seamus and Duffer and John Egan and Enda Stevens and all those boys and Glenn Whelan get intimidated by going anywhere then we have got a real a problem.

"I don't think that's the case. It might be the case if we had kids playing."

One 'kid' who will definitely not be playing is Troy Parrott who McCarthy ruled out as he is not playing senior football, following his new deal at Spurs.

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Euro 2020 Euro 2020 Championships Euro 2020 Play-offs Mick McCarthy Northern Ireland Republic Of Ireland Slovakia

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