Eamon Dunphy endorses Mick McCarthy but isn't a fan of bringing in Robbie Keane as his number two
Eamon Dunphy feels Robbie Keane needs more coaching experience before he is considered as worthy of being Republic of Ireland assistant boss.
Speculation about Ireland's record goalscorer coming in as Mick McCarthy's right-hand man, should he get the job, have been rife since news of Martin O'Neill's departure broke on Wednesday.
Keane has completed his coaching badges and has been widely tipped for success on the sidelines but Dunphy doesn't believe he should be given such a role with such a lack of experience.
"I'd be concerned about the talk of Robbie Keane coming on board this time," he said in his column in today's Irish Daily Star.
"Keane might well have a fine future in coaching.
"He is smart, knows the game and is an engaging character.
"But the international set-up should not be part of anybody's work experience portfolio.
"Keane needs to learn his trade before getting involved with Ireland.
"There are ex-teammates of Keane's like Lee Carsley, Steven Reid and Mark Kennedy who are highly rated having already made their mark in coaching.
"These are the kind of people we should be looking at to get involved as coaches.
"This is a new squad with inexperienced players. They need to be coached and nurtured."
McCarthy's main rival for the Ireland vacancy appears to be Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny and St Patrick's Athletic have made the strange move of endorsing Kenny publicly via Twitter.
In a statement today, they said: "We believe Stephen Kenny is the best candidate and that he has proven he has the experience, knowledge, commitment and intellect to change the current direction of the Irish senior team.
"Stephen’s appointment would undeniably be a boost for both the grassroots and domestic leagues.
"All involved would know that the country’s game would be in the hands of a man who knows and believes that the future of the game is in the nurturing and proper and professional development of the game in schools, communities, academies and clubs countrywide.
"We hope that all stakeholders of the domestic game that agree, express their view in the public forum."
Hibernian boss Neil Lennon is "flattered" by being linked to the vacant managerial post but has said he's satisfied in Scotland.
Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook has indicated he sees his immediate future at the Lancashire club amid talk he was in the running for the Ireland job.