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McCarthy: Protest somewhere else

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 2019-03-26
Mick McCarthy wearing a suit and tie: Mick McCarthy has been appointed Republic of Ireland manager until the end of Euro 2020 © Getty Mick McCarthy has been appointed Republic of Ireland manager until the end of Euro 2020

Mick McCarthy has asked Republic of Ireland fans to “demonstrate somewhere else” because he does not want protests to distract his team against Georgia.

Republic of Ireland fans, according to reports, are set to throw tennis balls on the pitch during Tuesday's European Qualifier in protest of the FAI's decision to create a new role for John Delaney after he stepped down as chief executive.

It emerged last week that Delaney provided a €100,000 bridging loan to the FAI in April, 2017. He was called before a parliamentary committee to explain it.

Delaney claimed the short-term loan was required to aid cash flow at the time and was repaid in full by the FAI two months later

Asked about potential protests, Republic of Ireland manager McCarthy said: "I can't do anything about it. I'm not going to take a tennis racket with me.

"If that is the case - I've been at games, I was at Charlton when people have done it - it's not going to help us play any better that's for sure. So I hope that's not the case.

"They want us to win by giving us the best chance - [they can do that] by getting behind us and not having any outside influences affecting us.

"Our fans are the best fans - they are fabulous. I'd just like them to come and support the team and if they have to demonstrate about anything then do it somewhere else and at another time.

"We don't want it to affect the performance. None of it is affecting the preparation, by the way."

He added: "We've come here to play. I don't get involved in things I can't affect and this is one of them. The only thing I can affect is our preparation for the game.

"We try and nail everything down and make sure we get a good performance. And if we do, I think people will feel happier about us and have a better feeling about the team - and that's all I want.

"I've been here when we've had a great feeling in '88, '90, '94 and 2002 when the mood is great and the fans are all behind us. I think that's my job to try and get that back and that's all I can influence."

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