Former Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy linked with Aston Villa job
Former Sunderland manager Mick McCarthy says he is flattered to be mentioned as a contender for the vacant Aston Villa manager's job.
McCarthy, currently in charge at Championship club Ipswich Town, has been strongly linked with Villa since the dismissal of Remi Garde this week.
With Villa doomed to relegation and McCarthy having won promotion with Sunderland and Wolves, he can see why he is being mentioned.
He said: "I view it as a compliment. I can't help but feel it is a compliment when clubs of that ilk think that I am doing a good job as a manager, bearing in mind that I have got two similar clubs promoted.
"But I have for a job here and there is nothing I can do about whatever they are saying. I won't even talk about what another job might entail.
"We have seven games and we want to get in the play-offs. My focus is on trying to get in the play-offs."
But McCarthy admitted that securing a top-six finish for Ipswich is looking tough after a run of five points from five games.
The 57-year was in charge at the Stadium of Light from March 2003 to March 2006.
He succeeded Howard Wilkinson, who was sacked after six straight Premier League defeats, but could not stop Sunderland's slide, and they were relegated at the end of the season.
However, he largely escaped blame for the relegation and was retained as manager.
The following season, McCarthy took Sunderland to the First Division promotion play-offs, but lost in a penalty shoot-out to Crystal Palace after Palace had scored a stoppage-time equaliser.
McCarthy completed the turnaround of the club in the 2004–05 season, seeing them return to the Premiership as champions, amassing an impressive 94 points.
Life in the Premiership was much tougher for McCarthy though, as he was unable to spend much to strengthen the team.
After a poor season and with the club 16 points from safety with only 10 games remaining, he was dismissed on 6 March 2006, to be replaced by his old Republic of Ireland nemesis Roy Keane.
After Sunderland he spent nearly six years at Wolverhampton Wanderers, guiding them to promotion and was named Championship manager of the year. He has been at Ipswich since 2012, guiding them to the play-offs last season.