LIAM BRADY believes that Chris Hughton, Mick McCarthy and Owen Coyle are the three outstanding candidates to replace Giovanni Trapattoni if Ireland fail to qualify for next year's World Cup.
The Ireland legend's preference would be for Marco Tardelli to succeed Trapattoni, but he believes that the Italian duo would need to bring the team to Brazil for that situation to develop.
Brady admits that it is "fair comment" to suggest that the Ireland boss might be in difficulty if they suffer bad results against Sweden and Austria later this month, although he remains a firm supporter of the 73-year-old.
When the time comes to hire a new regime, however, he thinks Hughton, McCarthy and Coyle should be high on the list, although he acknowledges that the finances could make it difficult to attract a candidate like Norwich manager Hughton.
"Trap is beaten with this salary stick all the time but it's relevant," said Brady. "If you're going to get a top manager, you've got to be able to pay him.
"I would see it as three candidates but would Chris Hughton leave the Premier League to come and manage Ireland? Mick McCarthy is at a great club in Ipswich and he is relishing the challenge of sorting them out.
"The other guy I'd like to see is Owen Coyle, who I think is a very good manager, a very experienced manager who the FAI maybe could consider if Giovanni goes. But I'm hoping Giovanni pulls the ace out of the pack."
Brady, who is leaving his post as Arsenal academy director, has ruled himself out the job and the Dubliner does not expect Trapattoni to leave without a fight.
"I don't think it's in his make-up to quit," he said. "I think he'll have to be forced to step down if he is going to step down. I don't think the group is over yet. I still think the team is still playing for him – I don't care what anyone says."