Belfast Telegraph

Martin O'Neill to consider Republic of Ireland future: Who are the contenders to take over?

Martin O'Neill said he would need to have "a real think" about his future after the Republic of Ireland saw their World Cup hopes left in ruins. 

Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen ended Ireland's play-off bid in brutal fashion with a hat-trick as the Danes raced to a 5-1 play-off second leg victory in Dublin, following the goalless draw in Copenhagen.

O'Neill and his coaching team have verbally agreed contract extensions with the Football Association of Ireland, with their existing deals effectively expired.

But asked if the result would have any effect on his immediate future, O'Neill said: "Do you know what, I'll have to have a real think about it.

"The disappointment obviously is very, very strong tonight because we haven't been able to do it, but I have to commend the players on getting this far."

Who are the contenders for the job if O'Neill does leave?

According to Paddy Power's odds, current Assistant Manager Roy Keane is the 7/4 favourite, ahead of ex England boss Sam Allardyce at 4/1. Former Irish international Mick McCarthy, currently manager at Ipswich Town, is third favourite at 10/1.

Joint at 12/1 are former Burnley, current Ross County boss Owen Coyle and Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny.

Chris Hughton and Neil Lennon are both rated at 14/1. Current Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill is at 25/1 alongside Robbie Keane.

And what about the long-shots?

Eamon Dunphy is at 500/1 while both Kenny Dalglish and Sir Alex Ferguson are 100/1.

Even further out, Ryan Tubridy, the RTE broadcaster, is at 5000/1 - if it's there I'll give you the money myself.  Also at 5000/1 are RTE 2FM presenter Rick O'Shea and Paddy Power himself.

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