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Wednesday, 10 April, 2002, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK

Mick McCarthy

Position: Coach

Mick McCarthy had a tough act to follow when he took over from Jack Charlton in 1996.

Charlton's success in taking the Republic to the Italia 90 quarter-finals and qualifying from their group at USA 94 had been more than anyone had expected.

But, when they failed to reach Euro 96, Charlton stood down and McCarthy was plucked from Millwall.

Although Ireland failed to qualify for France 98 or Euro 2000 under McCarthy, he was spared his job.

In both cases Ireland had been in tough qualifying groups but had made it to the play-offs before losing out.

This time the play-offs beckoned again as McCarthy's side finished ahead of the Netherlands but behind Portugal.

A draw with Iran was fairly kind and a 2-0 aggregate win cemented their place in the finals.


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