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Sunday 22 October 2017

O'Neill would be perfect for Irish hot seat – McCarthy

Mick McCarthy
Mick McCarthy
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

MICK McCARTHY has added his voice to the chorus of approval for the expected appointment of Martin O'Neill as Ireland manager, believing that the Derry native is "nailed on" to succeed Giovanni Trapattoni.

The Ipswich manager confirmed that he had a clause in his contract which allowed him to leave for free if the FAI came calling but it expired in August.

The former Ireland manager hinted that he might face a dilemma if the FAI knocked on his door again, but he doesn't expect that to happen because the job is O'Neill's if he wants it.

McCarthy is still well regarded by the Abbotstown hierarchy and he is pleased to be linked with the role. However, he views it as a one-horse race.

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"I'm not surprised (with the link) because I did a good job last time but Martin O'Neill is getting the job as far as I'm aware," he said. "That's totally nailed on, he's a shoo-in for it.

"He is a damn good manager. My understanding is that he's got the job. Good luck to him, I'm delighted."

McCarthy did admit that the succession race might have been more interesting if he was without a club and therefore didn't come with a compensation price tag.

"Martin O'Neill is unemployed. If I was unemployed it might be a different story," he said. "Martin is out of work and he can walk straight into the job. I think he's perfect for them.

"I've been linked with it because of my success doing that job in the past. I've not courted it or fanned the flames at all. I'm not going to do that now.

"I was asked when Giovanni was under pressure, 'do you fancy it?' and I said, 'yes, I would at some stage,' but I'm in a job and it's not the right time. I'm loving what I'm doing here."

Developments are expected over the weekend before the FAI board sit down next week to plot their next move.

Irish Independent

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