Mick McCarthy the early favourite to replace Martin O'Neill as Ireland manager

Wed, Nov 21 2018

McCarthy previously managed Ireland between 1996 and 2002. Credit: Michael P Ryan

Mick McCarthy has emerged as an early frontrunner to succeed Martin O’Neill as Republic of Ireland manager.

The Yorkshireman, who managed the national team between 1996 and 2002, has been out of work since resigning his position at Ipswich Town in April.

O’Neill parted company with the FAI on Wednesday morning following a poor series of results that saw Ireland relegated from UEFA Nations League B without a win.

The association are expected to move quickly in finding a replacement, with the draw for Euro 2020 qualification set to take place in Dublin on December 2nd.

59-year-old McCarthy guided Ireland to the World Cup finals in 2002 – a tournament Ireland haven’t since qualified for – before being knocked out on penalties to Spain in the second round.

During a decorated playing career, McCarthy captained Ireland to the World Cup in 1990 and was ever-present during Ireland’s first appearance at a major tournament, Euro ’88.

He spent time with Barnsley, Manchester City, Celtic and Lyon before finishing up his playing career at Millwall when he took over as manager in 1992.

Following his departure from Ireland, McCarthy managed Sunderland and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League and spent the last six years at Ipswich.

Other contenders for the Ireland job include Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny, who has gone on record that it’s his ambition to manage his country some day.

Kenny has led the Lilywhites to four Premier Division titles in five years, with two FAI Cup wins in that time, since taking over in 2013.

He previously led Longford Town to their first FAI Cup final and won the league title with Bohemians, before spending time with Bohemians, Derry City, Dunfermline and Shamrock Rovers.

Media reports have connected former Real Madrid, Portugal and current Iran manager Carlos Quieroz with the role when he parts company with the Asian nation in January.

Former Ireland international Chris Hughton, who was assistant manager to Brian Kerr between 2003 and 2005, is unlikely to leave his role with Premier League Brighton & Hove Albion.