Mick McCarthy glad tennis ball protest didn't affect Republic of Ireland in win over Georgia
Last Updated: 27/03/19 11:55am
Mick McCarthy felt the protest against John Delaney did not affect his Republic of Ireland team in their 1-0 win over Georgia.
Some Republic of Ireland fans disrupted their side's Euro 2020 qualifier by throwing tennis balls on to the pitch in protest at the FAI's decision to create a new role for Delaney, but it did not deter their team as Conor Hourihane scored the winning goal seconds after the balls were cleared from the pitch.
Delaney's role at the Football Association of Ireland has come under renewed scrutiny after he went to court this month to unsuccessfully block publication of a story about him loaning €100,000 to his employers.
There were also chants and banners protesting against Delaney, who stepped down as FAI chief executive after Saturday's win over Gibraltar to become executive vice president.
"It didn't affect us," McCarthy told Sky Sports when asked about the protest.
"When things like that happen you have to make sure you concentrate. I was conscious that we didn't take the free-kick too quickly and get hit on the break, but it had the adverse effect on them as we scored when the tennis balls came on.
"It didn't matter what was going on, nothing was stopping that free-kick.
"We've played really well tonight. We could have scored two or three. We negated their style of play and the lads put in an unbelievable shift. We've created plenty of opportunities that we didn't take but only one goal wins it."
"He's got a wand of a left-foot. I've always admired him. I tried to sign him at one point but we had no money - the usual. I've been really impressed with him. Also, the old stalwart Glenn Whelan was great in there too."
"He put in an outstanding performance. He set up the goal in Gibraltar and played well, but up front on his own tonight, he led the line really well. He deserved his man-of-the-match award."
On topping Group D
"The top two might cut each other's throats and allow us to pick up points elsewhere. But I think we should just be happy with our six points and look forward to Denmark away."