Thursday 19 September 2019

'I do understand people's reservations' - John Giles appreciates why Stephen Kenny's credentials are questioned

Mick McCarthy and Stephen Kenny were the leading candidates to replace Martin O'Neill
Mick McCarthy and Stephen Kenny were the leading candidates to replace Martin O'Neill Newsdesk Newsdesk

Former Ireland manager John Giles believes Stephen Kenny's lack of experience at top English clubs may count against him, as he appears to be in a straight battle with Mick McCarthy to take over as Republic of Ireland manager.

Daniel McDonnell revealed on earlier on Thursday that McCarthy and Kenny are the leading contenders to succeed Martin O'Neill, who left his post as Ireland manager on Wednesday.

In an interview with Newstalk, Giles suggested Dundalk boss Kenny will have question marks over his qualifications for the job, as he has not managed at the highest levels of the English game.

"I think it is an issue," he said when asked about Kenny's lack of top level experience.

"I don't agree with it but I think it is an issue because it's all about opinions and who you think will do a good job and their experience and all that. It's very, very difficult to know. I think Stephen Kenny has done a terrific job. If I was in an Irish position, I think I'd try and find a role for Stephen Kenny going into the future.

"But I do understand people's reservations about doing it at League of Ireland level rather than Premier League level or higher levels."

Giles is in favour of McCarthy making a return to the role he left in 2002, with former Ireland striker Robbie Keane believed to be a leading contender to be installed as his high-profile assistant.

"I'd probably go for Mick and again I've always said, the last thing I'd want in my life is to put my life on the line to pick a successful manager," he added.

"If I was doing it now, I think I would pick McCarthy. I think he's at an age now where it's good for international team management. He's got a lot of experience, he's done the job before and at most of the clubs he's been to, he's done a good job.

"He did a good job at Wolves, they didn't spend any money. The job he's done at Ipswich has been a tremendous job. He'd nothing to spend, he kept them mid-table and like all teams that are in mid-table for a few seasons, particularly for the chairman and the owner they're fed up of being mid-table, '[the manager] will have to go'. And where are Ipswich now? Bottom of the league." 

Online Editors

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport