Damien Duff insists Mick McCarthy and Robbie Keane could spark Ireland
A new 'dream team' combination of Mick McCarthy and Robbie Keane has emerged as favourites to replace Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane - something which Damien Duff believes would bring the spark back to Irish football.
The FAI were last night silent on possible successors to the O'Neill/Keane partnership, but a combination of McCarthy/Robbie Keane is being strongly considered.
McCarthy - the team's manager between 1996 and 2002 - has always said that returning to the Ireland job was a possibility, and it's now understood that his former star striker Keane would be attracted by working with the 59-year-old.
Keane was linked with a role in the Ireland U-21 set-up earlier this month, but was quickly ruled out as uncertainty grew over O'Neill's position.
According to Duff, his former team-mate, Keane would inject life back into the dressing-room and he feels a reunion with McCarthy is an attractive prospect.
Duff was speaking at a Beacon Hospital event in FAI HQ last night which Keane was due to attend but he pulled out of. He said that he had not spoken with his long-term team-mate and Ireland's record goalscorer.
"He's doing his badges and I'm sure he'd be a great coach, a great manager and what a way to learn - under Mick," said Duff.
"Robbie would be jumping in at the deep end and good luck to him if that did happen. (Under McCarthy) we were always organised and compact, we knew what our qualities are."
It's believed the FAI have tried to sound out Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny to see if he would be interested in becoming U-21 manager - but he feels he is capable of becoming senior boss.