‘It might be that I’d just like to be asked’ – Mick McCarthy’s cryptic comments about the Republic of Ireland job

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town fans will today be arriving at Portman Road full of fresh concern that manager Mick McCarthy may soon be heading for the exit door.

The Blues boss has become the bookmakers’ favourite for the vacant Republic of Ireland job and yesterday, in a cagey press conference, he continually refused to rule himself in or out of the running regarding a return to his former role on the international stage.

One particular line – ‘it might be that I’d just like to be asked’ – will give Town supporters hope though, with the inference being that the Yorkshireman simply wants recognition for the way he led the nation to within a penalty kick of the World Cup quarter-finals in 2002.

The 54-year-old, who is contracted to his Suffolk employers until June 2015, certainly left his comments open to interpretation, despite being given numerous opportunities to make his position crystal clear.

“I can’t help what’s going on,” said McCarthy, who said a month ago that the out-of-work Martin O’Neill was a ‘shoo-in’ for the Ireland job only for reports to emerge that O’Neill feels he has unfinished business in club management.

“If somebody asks me the question, officially, then I’ll tell then my answer. I haven’t been asked the question though and until that happens I’m not going to talk about it.”

With Ipswich this afternoon hosting Championship table-toppers Burnley, McCarthy – who has masterminded an impressive return of 68 points from a possible 132 during less than a year in charge – continued: “It’s a marker of the job I did in Ireland that I’m supposedly favourite. That’s nice isn’t it? That’s lovely.

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“I had to put my backside in the bacon slicer by taking on a team that were bottom of the table with just seven points. I did it and I’ve done a good job. We’re doing reasonable this year, we’re doing alright.

“I can’t help speculation. Until someone asks me the question, which might never happen, then there is no answer to give.

“I love being here, I love my job, I really do love being here. I’m not asking for it, I’m not courting it, I’m not trying to do anything with it. I’m going to be down there in that dugout breaking my balls to beat Burnley for me and everyone else associated with the club.”

He added: “I’m not ruling myself in or out. It might be that I’d just like to be asked so I can say yes. It might be that I’d just like to be asked so I can say no. I haven’t been asked.”

– Follow @Stuart_Watson on Twitter for live match updates.

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