Mick McCarthy Backed For Return to Republic of Ireland Job

Mick McCarthy Backed For Return to Republic of Ireland Job

Mick McCarthy is the favourite to be the next manager of the Republic of Ireland, 16 years after leaving the job first time around.

McCarthy was already at the top of the betting market but has been backed in from 7/2 to 1/1 with Paddy Power after Martin O’Neill parted company with the FAI on Wednesday morning.

Former Sunderland and Wolves manager McCarthy – who is a longer price with Ladbrokes and BetVictor – has been out of work since leaving Ipswich in March and he has been linked with a return to the Ireland job on a regular basis ever since leaving in 2002.

McCarthy guided the Republic to the World Cup finals in Japan and South Korea that same year, where they registered memorable results against Cameroon, Germany and Saudi Arabia to advance from their group, before suffering defeat on penalties to Spain.

Having also played for the country in the 1990 World Cup in Italy, he is fondly remembered by the Irish fans, despite splitting opinion during the 2002 World Cup following a well-documented fall out with then captain Roy Keane.

Other Contenders For The Ireland Job

Incidentally, Keane has drifted way out to as long as 33/1 to get the job having also departed his role as O’Neill’s assistant. The former Manchester United captain had been earmarked as a candidate to take over when O’Neill stepped aside but now appears to be out of the frame.

Stephen Kenny, who has achieved unprecedented success with Dundalk over the past six years, is thought to be McCarthy’s main contender for the role and has been backed in from 10/1 to a best price of 6/4 since confirmation of O’Neill’s departure.

The Irishman has guided Dundalk to four of the last five League of Ireland titles, two FAI Cup triumphs and two League of Ireland Cups, among other honours, but the real measure of his success is shown in his progress with the Irish side in Europe.

Under his stewardship, Dundalk reached the final play-off round as they ran agonisingly close to qualifying for the Champions League group stages in 2016, before suffering defeat to Legia Warsaw.

Undeterred, Dundalk went on to make their mark and compete admirably in the group stages of the Europa League, beating Maccabi Tel Aviv and drawing away to AZ Alkmaar, while pushing Zenit St. Petersburg hard over two ties.

Having also won the FAI Cup with Derry City in 2006 as well as steering Dunfermline to the 2007 Scottish Cup final, Kenny has enjoyed sustained success at the level he has been operating at, but it is not yet clear if the FAI are willing to take a punt on the 47-year-old.

Outsiders to Replace Martin O'Neill

Other candidates who may be more recognisable having managed on bigger platforms include Premier League veteran Sam Allardyce (25/1), who came out of retirement last year to help steer Everton out of relegation worry.

Harry Redknapp may be busy competing in I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, but he is currently a 33/1 contender in the market, while Steve Bruce – who has Irish roots and whose son plays for Northern Ireland – is a 20/1 outsider.

Other candidates rumoured to be in with a chance include another former manager, Brian Kerr, at 20/1, while Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill is 25/1.

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