Mick McCarthy has urged Tottenham striker Troy Parrott to follow in the footsteps of his team-mate Harry Kane in a bid to further his career.
McCarthy, who stepped down as Republic of Ireland manager last month after handing Parrott his senior international debut last November, believes the youngster may struggle to realise his potential unless he gets a chance to prove his worth as a first-team performer at club level.
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho labelled Parrott the “privileged one” in March and said he would not rush Parrott into his first team.
“It’s a process. We take care of the players. Troy is a process. He’s a very young kid with a lot, a lot, a lot to learn,” said Mourinho.
But McCarthy told the Experience Epic podcast, when asked about Parrott by host Brian Adair: “He’s got to play.
“People have likened him to Robbie Keane and it might be in terms of a goalscoring, but certainly different in terms of his personality.
“Robbie got in the Ireland team at 18, he was in the Wolves team as well and he lit the place up.
“Troy is going to be a good player and I loved working with him, but unless he is going to play in someone’s first team, then no (he won’t progress).
“Dele Alli went to MK Dons and did exceptionally well, Harry Kane went to Millwall, Leicester and Leyton Orient and he made himself a player by going out there and I think Troy has got to do that.”
McCarthy also backed his successor Stephen Kenny to succeed as Ireland manager, as he insisted he was not frustrated to be denied the chance to remain in the post to take charge of the delayed Euro 2020 play-off games.
“I’ve said all along that was disappointed, but I fully understood it,” added McCarthy, as he was asked about Kenny taking over as Ireland boss last month. “My contract was up on July 31st and if we had played the games then and qualified, I’m certain I would have stayed around until 2021 to the Euros.
“If I was in Stephen’s shoes and I was expecting to get the job on August 1st, I’d have wanted it. So the second-best scenario was for me to leave and let Stephen get on with contacting his players and doing the job.
“When I joined in December 2018, I thought we had a pretty good qualifying campaign and I thought we were beginning to progress, I think I’ve left them in good shape for Stephen Kenny to take over,” added McCarthy.
“I thought Stephen was doing a good job with the under-21s and while I understand it’s different with the national team, you can only get your chance.”