Ahead of Wednesday’s League Cup clash at Old Trafford, the Ipswich Town coach admits the Red Devils manager irritated him the last time the two men came face to face
Mick McCarthy has reflected on when former Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal aggravated him while he was manager of the Republic of Ireland.
Ipswich Town take on Manchester United at Old Trafford in the League Cup third round on Wednesday, with the two managers meeting for the first time since Ireland’s famous 1-0 win over Holland, which ended Dutch hopes of qualifying for the 2002 World Cup.
That match saw the end of Van Gaal’s first reign as national coach and McCarthy revealed he had been annoyed by the Dutchman and his team’s attitude in the build-up to the game.
“They [Netherlands] were all booking the hotels and were all getting ready to be in the play-offs and it was us that was going out, so the whole saga started then,” said McCarthy.
“It was a great day for me and Ireland, we got in the play-offs and won that against Iran so ended up in the World Cup, which was brilliant.
“Unfortunately for Louis, one of you [the media] will have asked him ‘do you think Mick McCarthy’s job will be under pressure if they lose?’ And he will have said ‘well if we win, it probably will because they will be out of the World Cup’ so he will have just answered it honestly.
“Then of course I go and get the hump about it, but that is just the way it is. At the time I was probably an angrier younger man as well. Now I am a bit more pragmatic and understanding of the way it all works.
“But I was annoyed because of the suggestion was we had no chance of beating them and were just going to get turned over by this great Dutch side, but that didn’t happen.
“In his career he might not even remember me – I guess people will be asking him now and he might say, ‘oh yeah’, like an irritation, but I will be shaking hands with him like I do every single manager before and after.”