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Republic of Ireland successor Stephen Kenny will be delighted by Nations League draw, says Mick McCarthy

Republic of Ireland drawn in Group 4 of UEFA Nations League B alongside Wales, Bulgaria and Finland

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Mick McCarthy has backed the Republic of Ireland to win their Nations League group despite the fact he will not be in charge

Mick McCarthy believes his successor Stephen Kenny will be delighted by the Republic of Ireland's draw for the Nations League which pits them against Wales once again.

Republic of Ireland were beaten home and away by Ryan Giggs' side in the inaugural Nations League in the autumn of 2018 and will lock horns with them again at the end of this year.

They will also take on Finland, who will take part in their first European Championship finals this summer, as well as Bulgaria.

They will do so under current under-21 coach Kenny, who takes over from McCarthy whenever the Republic's run in Euro 2020 comes to an end - either this month in the play-offs or in the summer should they qualify.

McCarthy, who admits he was initially sceptical about the Nations League format, believes the draw was one Kenny will relish.

"It could have been a lot worse, it could have been (trips to play) Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Hungary," he said.

"I'm speaking as someone who's not going to be involved in this, it'll be Stephen Kenny.

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"I think if Stephen is sat at home, he'd be delighted with it because it's a group they can win."

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Wales manager Ryan Giggs says he expected to come up against Republic of Ireland in the Nations League draw

Although the Irish experience in the inaugural Nations League was an unhappy one, McCarthy admits he is a convert to the competition's merits.

"I thought it was brilliant the last time it was played. I set off (as) that very cynical ex-footballer thinking that they were just going to be glorified friendlies and it turned out it was anything but," he said.

"The games England played against Spain and Croatia were amazing games, I thought Holland and Germany, the competition in that group was brilliant.

"Sadly we didn't do very well in it, we were relegated from it, but overall I thought the competition was a big hit. I was doing the games for Virgin TV in Ireland, and I thought they were great games, much better than friendlies."

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