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Tuesday, 11 June, 2002, 13:40 GMT 14:40 UK
McCarthy revels in Irish success
Mick McCarthy looks on as Ireland seal qualification for the second phase
McCarthy was delighted by Ireland's victory
A beaming Mick McCarthy paid tribute to his side's endeavours after their World Cup heroics - but admitted he did not enjoy watching the game.

"Everyone has a good time watching it, but you want to try sitting in that dug-out with your backside in the bacon slicer!" he said.

The Republic of Ireland coach saluted his side's performance as goals from Robbie Keane, Gary Breen and Damien Duff secured a 3-0 win.

And he said he could not have asked for a better start as Keane's goal arrived in the eighth minute, but admitted his side faded after taking the lead.

Open Quote
People thought we would get beaten in the first two games but whoever we meet won't be relishing the thought of playing us
Close Quote
Mick McCarthy

"We played very well in the second half but first half, after getting a great start, we were very nervous. This was a big game for us," he said.

"I think there was frustration on the pitch and off the pitch.

"We started to try and chase it and get that other goal.

"After we had a chat at half-time and made ourselves solid then we had a base to build on.

"We tried to chase the game earlier than we should have done.

Irish fans celebrate their side's qualification for the second round
Ireland's win delighted fans

"I thought we had to settle as a win would get us through and as it turned out that would have been enough."

McCarthy also praised Blackburn's Duff, who capped his display with the third goal and his first of the Finals.

"Some people think his best position is wide left and maybe it is but he gives a different option when he plays through the middle," he said.

McCarthy said his side would not be overawed by their second round opponents - likely to be Spain - who they meet on 16 June.

"People thought we would get beaten in the first two games but whoever we meet won't be relishing the thought of playing us on Sunday."

Steve Staunton paid tribute to the legions of the Green Army in the Yokohama Stadium.

"We saw all the old familiar banners that we see from back home and everywhere we go," he said.

"They are absolutely unbelievable, they just keep on coming and following us.

"You just had to listen to the noise and see the green around the stadium.

"I can visualise the celebrations back home and just imagine what is going on, and good luck to them all."

Football Association of Ireland chief executive Brendan Menton heaped praise on McCarthy after the result.

He also insisted his decision to send Manchester United's inspirational skipper Roy Keane back home was justified.

He said: "Mick has done a fantastic job and it was a very difficult decision to make as a manager, but there is no doubt now he made the right decision.

"To come through with the African champions going out of the group - which was a group of death - and come through in second place is down to Mick McCarthy and his squad and the way he set out the team."


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Ireland coach Mick McCarthy
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SAUDI ARABIA V REP OF IRELAND
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GROUP E
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GERMANY 3 +10 7
IRELAND 3 +3 5
CAMEROON 3 -1 4
SAUDI ARABIA 3 -12 0




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