Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Delaney eyes quick appointment for Republic of Ireland

Favourite: Martin O'Neill is in pole position to be the next Republic boss

The new Republic of Ireland manager could face a baptism of fire in Germany.

Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney has admitted that, in an ideal world, he would like to have Giovanni Trapattoni's replacement in place in time for next month's World Cup qualifiers against Group C leaders Germany – who won 6-1 at the Aviva Stadium in October last year – and Kazakhstan.

Delaney said: "It would be nice to have a manager in place for the games in October, but that's not a must because it's 12 months until we play our first European qualifiers in September.

"It's important that we get the right man in so we qualify for France 2016."

Martin O'Neill remains the overwhelming bookmakers' favourite with one offering odds of 4/7 for his appointment.

It is understood the 61-year-old Ulsterman, who has been out of work since being sacked by Sunderland in March, is open to an approach, while former Ireland manager Mick McCarthy, currently in charge at Ipswich, has not distanced himself from speculation linking him to the vacancy.

Norwich boss Chris Hughton and Leeds counterpart Brian McDermott, who were both mentioned – along with O'Neill, McCarthy and Roy Keane – by Delaney as prospective candidates in a radio interview on Wednesday, have ruled themselves out.

Former Republic full-back Hughton said: "I was very proud to play for Ireland and I always want to see them winning football matches, but my responsibility is here at Norwich."

McDermott spoke with his club's managing director David Haigh and chief executive Paul Hunt to clarify his intentions.

Asked if he was interested in the job, he said: "No. One day I want to manage the Republic of Ireland, but at this moment I'm at a fantastic football club."

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