Cyprus’ APOEL sack McCarthy after two months as coach

Nicosia (AFP) – Cyprus’ ailing giants APOEL on Wednesday sacked former Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy as head coach after only two months in the job.

In a brief statement, the Nicosia club said they had “terminated” their cooperation with McCarthy, along with assistant Terry Connor, and wished them well for the future.

The sacking comes after a poor run of form, Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat by Doxa leaving Cyprus’ most successful side in 11th place.

The club that recently won seven league titles in a row are not used to being at the wrong end of the table.

APOEL were 10th in the 14-team league when McCarthy took over on November 2, with two wins from eight games.

There was no improvement under the 62-year-old, who managed only two more wins from the next eight league fixtures.

When the 28-time Cypriot champions surprisingly hired McCarthy they were expecting immediate results from a coach with vast experience in the Premier League.

The former Ireland international guided both Sunderland and Wolves to the English top flight as manager.

He led Ireland to the 2002 World Cup with the team advancing from their group only to be eliminated by Spain in a penalty shootout.

APOEL finished third in the table last season, earning a Europa League qualifying spot where they were knocked out in the play-off stage by Czech side Slovan Liberec.

APOEL reached the last eight of the Champions League in 2011-12 going out to Real Madrid.

A run of four games without a win proved the end for Greek coach Marinos Ouzounidis who McCarthy replaced as the club’s 12th permanent coach since 2015.

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