FORMER Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has said he won’t force his Cardiff City players to have the Covid-19 vaccine.
McCarthy, who led Ireland to the last-16 of the 2002 World Cup, said he "couldn't wait" to have the jab after seeing a friend fall ill with the virus.
However asked about his club's vaccine protocols before Saturday's victory at former club Millwall, the Cardiff boss said he respected his players' personal choice.
'It's their choice'
"You can’t make anybody take the jab," he said.
"You can urge them, compel them to do it, bearing in mind that if they do get it [the virus] then they have to isolate, then they will miss games, they'll be out of the team, it'll cost them money in terms of appearance money and maybe not playing.
"It affects their teammates as well, it affects everybody about the club so I'd like to think everybody would want to have it but not everybody does and that’s the same here."
He added: "It's their choice, we can't do anything about it so there's no point getting irate or upset about it.
"It's their choice and so it should be with everybody’s [personal] health."
'I couldn't wait'
McCarthy also revealed he had received the jab, scoffing at conspiracy theories over the vaccine.
"I don't know about all the conspiracy theories about the jab, some people reckon they’re putting a chip in to follow you all around!" he said.
"Well, if you take your phone with you they’ll know where you've been and every one of them has got a phone!
"And if you drive through London you get spotted more times than you would anywhere else on a camera anyway!
"I had it [the jab], I couldn’t wait to get it. I didn't want to be laid up with Covid.
"My mate had it and he was very, very ill, but you know the younger guys, the younger people, it doesn't seem to affect them that much."
Bluebirds on the up
McCarthy, who won 57 caps for Ireland, took over at Cardiff in January with the club 15th in the Championship table after five consecutive league defeats.
They won 10 and lost just three of their remaining 22 games under McCarthy as they finished in eighth place.
Saturday's win over Millwall continues their unbeaten start to this season and lifts them to sixth in the table.