Recently it seemed that even if Ireland had been drawn in a group of all Pot 6 teams, we would still have trouble getting out. Without having even played a game, there’s a certain lightness around the Ireland camp that comes with the appointment of a new manager. Out with the old, with the old way of doing things, in with a new manager who might/will/should shake things up. Do things differently. Better hopefully. With a phenomenally complicated system as to which team could be in which group, Ireland were initially lumped in Group C: Netherlands, Germany, Estonia, Belarus. But the UEFA powers that be decided that, no, not for us, so we were dumped out of this group and Northern Ireland replaced us. I’m sure the thank-yous are making their way as we speak from Belfast. We were then parachuted into Group D: Switzerland, Denmark, Republic of Ireland, Georgia, Gibraltar. A much more manageable group. And the Gods are smiling on McCarthy before a ball has been kicked in anger.