By Steve Neville
Mick McCarthy has hit out at Derby’s termination of Richard Keogh’s contract.
The Ireland manager was speaking at the PFAI Awards which saw Dundalk boss Vinner Perth and Shamrock Rovers man Jack Byrne pick up the manager and player of the year awards.
Derby terminated the contract of captain Keogh “for gross misconduct” following an internal disciplinary hearing in October.
The 33-year-old defender suffered a serious knee injury after he was involved in a car accident with Wales international Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett on September 24.
Lawrence and Bennett, who later admitted to drink-driving charges, were both fined the equivalent of six weeks’ wages – the maximum contractual limit – by Derby.
“I’m astounded at what’s gone on there, I really am,” said McCarthy, as reported by RTÉ.
“I’ve only worked with him since December and he’s been brilliant, such a great guy.”
“I know they (English PFA) have taken it on and so they should, that’s where they (players) really need help, in cases like that.
“If Richard has got in an Uber and the Uber driver was drunk I don’t think they would have sacked him.”
Last week, Keogh’s agent said he believes Derby’s decision to sack his client for gross misconduct could set a dangerous precedent for the game.
Meanwhile, McCarthy has been handed a fitness boost ahead of this month’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark.
Goalkeeper Darren Randolph returned from injury to start in Middlesbrough’s 2-2 draw with QPR yesterday.
– additional reporting by Press Association