Friday 28 October 2016

As O'Neill keeps his options open a popular ex-Ireland boss admits he's interested in the job

Published 13/05/2016 | 19:34

Martin O'Neill has remained coy on his Ireland future in recent weeks, consistently stating that he is 'relaxed' about his contract status.

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O'Neill's deal is scheduled to run out at the end of the European Championships and you get the feeling that the Ireland boss wants to wait and see how high his stock is after the tournament. Were Ireland to escape their tough group, O'Neill would likely be in demand from a host of top clubs.

If they exit valiantly after a few spirited displays, the option of continuing with Ireland will almost certainly still be on the table but with Premier League sides like Everton and Watford currently looking for managers, the Northern Irishman is in no hurry to commit to anything just yet.

As O'Neill weighs up his options, one of his predecessors has expressed an interest in the role.

Former Ireland manager Mick McCarthy, now of Ipswich, today said that he would consider taking up his old position once again if the circumstances are right.

"If I'm out of work and there is no Ireland manager there - there is one there at the moment and he has done a very good job to get them to the Euros - if i haven't got a job, and the job comes up then of course I would be interested," he said in a report on RTE news.

McCarthy has had a mixed time in club management since leaving the Ireland job in 2002, gaining promotion to the Premier League with Sunderland and Wolves but not being able to keep either team in the top flight.

He took over the Tractor Boys in 2012 but hasn't yet been able to work his Championship magic and get them promoted.

If McCarthy did return to manage Ireland, it would be a remarkable turnaround for a manager who was sacked after a disastrous two-loss start to the Euro 2004 qualification campaign, which came just months after his infamous Saipan bust-up with Roy Keane.

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