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cyprus son 'I love Mick. He took a chance on bringing me here' - Jack Byrne on McCarthy's exit

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Jack Byrne made the move to Apoel from Shamrock Rovers. Photo by Nicos Savvides/Sportsfile

Jack Byrne made the move to Apoel from Shamrock Rovers. Photo by Nicos Savvides/Sportsfile

Jack Byrne made the move to Apoel from Shamrock Rovers. Photo by Nicos Savvides/Sportsfile

Jack Byrne admits he was helpless from preventing Mick McCarthy’s dismissal from his new club APOEL but still holds a huge amount of respect and admiration for the former Republic of Ireland manager.

McCarthy was sacked just two days after Byrne made the move to the Cypriot club from Shamrock Rovers. Despite a late roll of the dice, a five-minute cameo against Doxa Katokopia from Byrne was unable to prevent his departure.

"Yeah, well there was nothing I could do. The ink was dry, ya know what I mean!" Byrne said.

"Obviously I love Mick, He took a chance on bringing me here. I've huge respect for Mick, he gave me my Ireland debut, he had me in Ireland squads. As a person I can't speak highly enough of Mick."

McCarthy has since gone on to take the reins at Champions side Cardiff, a move which Byrne is pleased to see unfold.

"I'm delighted to see Mick get the job now at Cardiff and Terry Connor after going in there. I'm sure they are going to do great, there's no better man to do well in the Championship."

Despite the unsettled start to life at APOEL, Byrne revealed he is enjoying life at his new club and has received assurances about his future.

"The area is nice, the people have been great," he said on ‘The Changing Room’, on ejmenswear.com. "Obviously, the new manager [Savvas Poursaitidis] is after coming in now but I spoke to the president before I came here. They're all still here. So it's been good. Just settling in you know, the first couple weeks just settling in to my own fitness programme. Everything's going well so far, so can't complain, really enjoying it so far.

"I knew the President here, the board wanted me as well. They reassured me [of] that when Mick obviously left."

It’s not just match fitness Byrne will need to catch up on as he concedes the Cypriot league represents a huge difference from the League of Ireland and indeed other leagues he has played in.

“It's completely different to the League of Ireland to be fair, it's completely different to England, completely different to Scotland, the last couple of places I was in,” he said. “I wouldn't really compare it to Holland.”

“I've only played two games now, played a half an hour on Sunday, played 20 minutes the weekend before that. So it's going to take me a while to get used to it and see what it's like, but it is technical. They want to get the ball down, they want to play. The new manager that is after coming in here really wants to play football."

Along with the style of football, ambitions of winning silverware and playing in Europe were also key to Byrne’s decision to join the Cypriot club.

"They expect that at this club because it's the biggest club out here, they are used to winning trophies, they are used to winning leagues, used to being in Europe every year," Byrne added. "They plan to be in Europe. And that was one of the big factors why I came here in the first place, European football, and they're really hungry to get that.

"And, you know, hopefully I can be a part of that. The league itself is you know, there's some good players I've played against, even playing against some of the teams here, I've come up against to come up against a lot of players in the Holland and they're all technically good players, they all have three or four really good players on each team.

"It’s something I’m just have to get used to and just crack on because I'm here for two and a half years. I'm enjoying it, I'm enjoying the first month so just see how it goes."

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