Soccer Digest: Healthy Stephen Hunt backs Mick McCarthy as Wolves manager
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Irish winger Stephen Hunt has criticized the decision made by his club’s owners to sack Mick McCarthy as Wolves manager in March.
Wolves look destined for relegation, and Hunt believes the McCarthy sacking hasn’t helped.
“We were all playing for the manager so first of all, it was disappointing for the gaffer. In terms of results, the board thought it was time for a change,” he told RTE Sport.
“Little did we know we would end up losing a lot of games since we’ve sacked him so it has probably proved to be the wrong decision in the end.
“Mick will go on and do well for himself. He has got a good enough CV to get another job for sure and he is definitely good enough to work for. I’m sure he will be back with a vengeance. It is just disappointing for us that we lost him.”
Hunt also dismissed suggestions that recent surgery on a groin injury will keep him out of the Euro finals this summer.
He added, “I am progressing well, I hope to be back in training in four or five days. The injury was a hernia, a recurrence of one I had last year.
“It didn’t bother me for a couple of months but then I decided to go ahead and have the operation, which is better for me. I hope to be back for Manchester City next week, but maybe Swansea the week after to be safe.”
He also welcomed the competition in the Ireland squad and the emergence of James McClean as a real threat to his position.
Hunt said, “Anyone who is an Irish fan welcomes the pressure on the players because obviously that brings competition for places.
“That’s good for Ireland and good for me, hopefully it will get the best out of me. Obviously, most importantly it’s good for Ireland, with James doing so well.”
Irish boss Giovanni Trapattoni has again refused to rule McClean out of the reckoning for the European Championships, but admits the Sunderland winger is more likely to be seen as a long term option.
“We have 27 or 28 players and it will be a great pity, a great pity, when we have to decide on the 23, to decide on this player or that player,” said Trapattoni as he inspected the team’s Euro 2012 training camp base in Italy.
“The squad is very important to me and they deserve to come with us, they helped us achieve qualification. But I have to decide which players deserve to come with us. We are watching games all the time.
“I have two or three decisions to make. McCarthy, Coleman, players like that, I have to make a decision and I do not forget them for the next campaign, for the World Cup, but we have to decide the best for now.”
Wes Hoolahan was also name-checked by Trapattoni as a World Cup contender after the Euros while he is hopeful that Richard Dunne will be fit for Poland.
Trapattoni said, “I am optimistic about Richard Dunne. Two days ago I was in touch with him and he was very confident.
“He said to me, ‘Giovanni, I am well, I am sure I can play in the last game in the Premier League.’ The recovery from his operation is going well.”
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