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Tuesday, 5 November, 2002, 17:38 GMT
McAteer laments McCarthy's exit
McCarthy faces the media glare as he confirms his resignation
McCarthy confirmed his decision to quit on Tuesday
Republic of Ireland midfielder Jason McAteer described Mick McCarthy's decision to leave as "terrible news".

The Sunderland player, who scored the goal which beat Holland and took the Irish to World Cup finals, said: "We are all shocked - it is a sad day for Irish football."


Journalists will be happy but there are a lot of unhappy players
Jason McAteer

McAteer was one of the players McCarthy loyally backed even when the midfielder was out of favour at Blackburn Rovers.

"The majority of journalists never wanted him to have the job and they have given him a tough time," added McAteer.

"They took any chance they had to stick the knife in his back.

"They will be happy but there are a lot of unhappy players."

Keane row pivotal

Northern Ireland manager Sammy McIlroy has blamed Mick McCarthy's departure on the Roy Keane affair.

"We all know what the story was about and it looks as if it has beaten Mick," said McIlroy, a former team-mate of McCarthy's at Manchester City.

"After the World Cup there was a big clamour to get Roy Keane back in the side.


You are on a hiding to nothing if you are not able to pick your best player at the World Cup
Paul McGrath

"But too many bridges had been burned between the two.

"After he came back from the World Cup they lost two European qualifiers and some people were saying they could have won them with Keane.

"I think Mick has had a talk with people close to him and said 'listen, I cannot win this one'.

"Knowing Mick, it will be a wrench for him to leave."

Former Republic players Paul McGrath and Frank Stapleton also felt the World Cup dispute with Keane was the main reason behind the decision.

'Hiding to nothing'

McGrath, who won 83 caps for the Republic between 1985 and 1997, said McCarthy had done a good job.

"The main reason he has gone was because of the way things went in the summer," said McGrath.

"You are on a hiding to nothing if you are not able to pick your best player at the World Cup.

"Although the team did very well that is the main reason that he has decided to call it a day."

Stapleton added: "The Keane situation overshadowed everything.

"He has not been judged on results - he has been judged on something else that happened away from the field."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Simon Brotherton
"McCarthy's departure became inevitable"
Mick McCarthy
"It's been a pleasure and a privilege"
Former Ireland defender Paul McGrath
"It's disappointing the way things have worked out"
 VOTE RESULTS
Was Mick McCarthy right to quit?

Yes
 52.23% 

No
 47.77% 

13282 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
Mick McCarthy resigns as coach of the Republic of Ireland

Ireland in limbo

Analysis

Photo gallery

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Ireland's World Cup

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