Mick McCarthy says managerial mates Sam Allardyce and Steve Bruce could ‘get the job done’ for England

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has backed two of his biggest managerial mates – Sam Allardyce and Steve Bruce – to be a success if England came calling.

The trio were all no-nonsense defenders during the 70s and 80s and have since gone on to become straight-talking managers with impressive CVs.

Sunderland’s Allardyce, 61, has been interviewed by the Football Association, as they start their search for Roy Hodgson’s successor following Euro 2016, and is the bookies’ 1/2 favourite.

Hull City’s Bruce, 55, is also reportedly one of the front-runners along with the likes of Jurgen Klinsmann, Eddie Howe, Guus Hiddink and Glenn Hoddle.

“I’m delighted for them,” said McCarthy (pictured right). “There’s somebody who’s just got the Prime Minister’s job (Teresa May) who just ‘gets the job done’, as she keeps saying. I quite like people who just get on with it and get the job done.


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“That’s a bit like Sam and Steve to be honest with you. There are a few of us managers like that who can be much maligned in these days of supposed ‘modern managers’ and different ways of doing things.”

McCarthy has been in international management, leading the Republic of Ireland to the last 16 of the 2002 World Cup. And while his pragmatic approach isn’t always universally popular, he has masterminded Championship titles at both Sunderland and Wolves.

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Allardyce and Bruce are both cut from the same cloth; ‘old school’ managers who are master motivators, can keep the lid on expectations and deal with the media expertly.

‘Big Sam’ – who was one of the first managers in England to embrace sports science after a spell playing in the USA – has guided Notts County, Bolton and West Ham to promotions and recently saved Sunderland from top-flight relegation against the odds. He won a League Cup at Bolton too, also guiding them to a UEFA Cup Final.

Bruce has led both Birmingham and Hull to the Premier League on two separate occasions, guiding the latter to an FA Cup Final too.

“Sam has just been excellent I think,” said McCarthy. “Look at all the things he’s done in the game – promotions, staying in leagues. He gets the best out of people.

“If somebody was to write a CV for him… What’s his CV? Well he gets players for not a lot, gets the best out of them, generally they get promoted or stay up and upset the applecart. He just gets the best out of people and surely that has got to be the remit for any manager?

“Sometimes Sam’s been tagged with the long ball and been criticised for the way he plays, but for me it’s about winning games.

“I would imagine the better footballers Sam has got to work with the better football his teams would play. All I know is he will get the best out of what he’s got. That’s the same with Brucey as well.”

He added: “England have tried numerous other options and gone down different routes. Maybe it’s time for someone like Sam or Steve.”

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