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Delaney names O’Neill, Keane as contenders

September 12, 2013 • Soccer, Sport,

Martin O'Neill is though to be interested in the Ireland job. However, the FAI has said it is in nor rush to make an appointment.

Martin O’Neill is thought to be interested in the Ireland job. However, the FAI has said it is in nor rush to make an appointment in the wake of Giovanni Trapattoni’s departure.

The Football Association of Ireland will take its time to decide on a successor to Giovanni Trapattoni.

Trapattoni’s reign as Republic of Ireland manager came to an end lat night when the two parties agreed an amicable split in the wake of yesterday morning’s 1-0 World Cup qualifier defeat in Austria which effectively ended their hopes of making it to Brazil next summer.

Martin O’Neill had already been installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to replace the 74-year-old Italian even before his departure had been announced as it became clear his days in charge were drawing to a close.

But chief executive John Delaney insists the FAI Board will not rush to make a decision as it considers its options.

“The Board will meet within the next week,” Delaney told Newstalk.

“Today was a day to deal with Giovanni and [assistant manager] Marco [Tardelli] in a dignified manner, and hopefully people will respect the job he has done.

“We will meet and determine a process. We do have time. The European qualifiers don’t start until next September. We will take stock of the last couple of days and then discuss the process.”

O’Neill, who was sacked by Sunderland at the end of March, is not the only potential candidate to fill the vacancy, with ex-Ireland manager Mick McCarthy, currently at Ipswich, his former captain Roy Keane and current Norwich boss Chris Hughton also figuring prominently in the betting.

“I think there will be plenty of interest because first of all, 24 teams go to the European Championships, it’s genuinely accepted we have a good crop of young players and the monetary incentive has been good over the last number of years,” said Delaney.

“The knowledge of the Irish job because of Trapattoni across Europe has created interest in managing the Irish team. It will be interesting to see who puts their best foot forward.”

Asked specifically about Keane, who famously returned home from the Far East before the 2002 World Cup finals had started, Delaney said, laughing: “I don’t think I will comment on any individual.”

He added: “I think names like Mick, Brian McDermott, Chris Hughton, Roy Keane all come into the pot – Martin O’Neill, of course.

“I wouldn’t want to comment on any individual chances. Mick has done a very good job for Ireland and in England as well.

“We will look at the job description over the next week. The last four or five days have been difficult for everyone in Irish football. It was important to get a decision made in a dignified way.

“We have to look at who can get the best out of the players available to us. Sometimes in Ireland when things are great, we get too carried away; when they are not, we get too negative.”

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