McCarthy clears up 'misconceptions' over Declan Rice's allegiance
Mick McCarthy took time to clear up some ‘misconceptions’ about the Declan Rice situation, and insists that he will go and see Rice in December to discuss his international future.
McCarthy was speaking at his first press conference in his second stint as Republic of Ireland manager, and questions still surround the future of West Ham midielder Rice.
Rice was not selected for several of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane’s final squads, and speculation has been rife in the media that this was due to a falling out with either Keane or O’Neill. McCarthy was keen to put this issue to bed, while also addressing the outstanding issue of his international allegiance.
“I’m glad you asked me that. Yes, I spoke to Declan’s father today – Sean – and had a good conversation with him.
“I’ll just clear some things up, some misconceptions: Declan wasn’t here for the games because he’d had a falling out with Roy or with Martin. He has got the utmost respect for both of those guys.
“But he was asked by Gareth Southgate to go and see St George’s Park, and to see whether he could be enticed into playing with them. Of course, there’s a hue and cry around whether he should play and lots of different opinions.
“But he didn’t say he wanted to or didn’t want to. He found it overwhelming. I remember saying myself, ‘You should just focus on getting on the West Ham team and take a back seat.’
“Well, he’s done that now, he’s doing well and I’ll go and speak to him in December when his father’s around and I’ll have a chat with them both.”