Mick McCarthy: Republic of Ireland's win over Gibraltar was horrible but a great three points
Last Updated: 24/03/19 11:15am
Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy said that despite "hating every minute of" his return to international management, he was still delighted with his side's efforts after they secured a narrow 1-0 win in Gibraltar to kick off their European Qualifiers campaign on Saturday.
Twenty-three years after he first took charge of the Republic, McCarthy was back in the dugout at the 2,300-capacity Victoria Stadium as the Republic edged past part-time opponents thanks to Jeff Hendrick's second-half strike.
However, come the full-time whistle, McCarthy was just relieved to get the three points as the Republic won away from home for the first time in any competition since they beat Wales 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier in October 2017.
"What a horrible game," he told Sky Sports. "I hated every minute of it playing against a team with nothing to lose and everything to gain. A horrible game but a great three points to start with.
"Nothing of the game disappointed me or surprised me. People expected they were just going to roll over, not a chance. I'm glad to be out of it with three points."
Asked what he had learned about his side ahead of their second qualifier at home against Georgia on Tuesday, McCarthy said: "They're a great bunch of lads, they'll stick together. They didn't get frustrated.
"We'll play a lot better [against Georgia] and it won't be a team that just sits back and tries to keep us out."
Meanwhile, striker David McGoldrick told Sky Sports: "They were tough conditions but the main thing was to get the three points. We should have done better. We had some chances."
Of Hendrick's goal, he added: "We wanted to get in behind them and we did. We've been working on the midfielders getting into the box and it's a great run from Jeff."
Follow all of Sunday's Euro 2020 Qualifiers live on Sky Sports Football from 4pm and via our live match blogs on the Sky Sports App and skysports.com