APOEL sack McCarthy after only two months

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Cypriot top-flight team APOEL FC on Wednesday sacked former Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy as head coach after two months in the job.

In a brief statement, the Nicosia club said it had “terminated” its cooperation with McCarthy, along with assistant Terry Connor and wished them well for the future.

The sacking comes after a poor run of form, and Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat to Doxa, for one of the biggest clubs in Cyprus and serial winners.

APOEL were 10th in the 14-team league when McCarthy took over on November 2, with two wins from eight games.

There was no improvement under McCarthy with the club managing only two more wins from their next eight league fixtures, rooted near the relegation zone in 11th place.

When the club surprisingly hired McCarthy, it was expecting immediate results on the pitch.

McCarthy is a coach with vast experience in the English Premier League with over 600 appearances in the Premier League and the Championship.

The 62-year-old former Ireland international player has won promotion to the Premier League with Sunderland and Wolves as manager.

As national coach, he led Ireland to qualify for the 2002 World Cup with the team advancing from their group only to be eliminated by Spain in a penalty shootout.

APOEL have won the Cypriot title a record 28 times but have made a poor start to the 2020-21 season.

The club finished third in the table last season, earning a Europa League spot, but was knocked out at the final play-off stage by Czech Republic’s Slovan Liberec.

A run of four games without a win proved the end for Greek coach Marinos Ouzounidis who McCarthy replaced as the club’s 12th permanent coach since 2015.

The club that recently won seven league titles in a row is not used to being at the wrong end of the table.

APOEL reached the last eight of the Champions League in 2011-12 going out to Real Madrid.