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under pressure Big Mick McCarthy facing axe with Cyprus venture turning sour


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Mick McCarthy giving instructions from the sideline during APOEL Nicosia's 2-1 loss to Doxa in the Cypriot league last night. Photo: Sportsfile

Mick McCarthy giving instructions from the sideline during APOEL Nicosia's 2-1 loss to Doxa in the Cypriot league last night. Photo: Sportsfile

Mick McCarthy giving instructions from the sideline during APOEL Nicosia's 2-1 loss to Doxa in the Cypriot league last night. Photo: Sportsfile

Mick McCarthy is facing the axe by Cypriot side APOEL after a fourth straight defeat - and some media reports in Cyprus claim that the club have already lined up his successor.

Ireland international Jack Byrne came off the bench to make his debut yesterday, 24 hours after his move from Shamrock Rovers was completed, but APOEL still went down 2-1 away to mid-table side Doxa, the fourth loss in-a-row for McCarthy's side who are dangerously close to the automatic relegation zone.

Appointed to an already-struggling side in November, with a contract up to the 2022 season, McCarthy has been unable to turn things around at APOEL.

And while hopes of winning the Cypriot title were abandoned long ago, he was under pressure to at least finish in the top six when the Cypriot league breaks off for a play-off round next month.

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Jack Byrne. Photo: Sportsfile

Jack Byrne. Photo: Sportsfile

Jack Byrne. Photo: Sportsfile

But no points from four games has McCarthy under serious pressure with suggestions that he could be axed before their next game, at home on Saturday, and claims that the club already have locally-based coach Savvas Poursaitidis lined up as his successor.

A departure for McCarthy at this stage would be a blow for Byrne, who was convinced to join APOEL by McCarthy with a vision of European football next season, but relegation candidates APOEL may now need to beat league leaders Apollon in the Cup later this month to keep alive any hopes of European qualification.

Byrne (24) has signed a two-and-a-half year contract with the club and along with English striker Joe Garner was one of their two main winter signings.

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