Tuesday 15 October 2019

John Aldridge gives his backing to Mick McCarthy amid reports he is close to returning as Ireland boss

Mick McCarthy. Photo: Brian McEvoy
Mick McCarthy. Photo: Brian McEvoy
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Football Association of Ireland officials are reported to have made an approach to Mick McCarthy to return as Republic of Ireland manager and he may be appointed as Martin O'Neill's successor in the coming day.

RTÉ Sport are reporting that McCarthy's return to the role he left in 2002 could be confirmed in the coming days, with former Ireland striker Robbie Keane widely reported to be a contender to become his assistant.

Meanwhile, former Ireland striker John Adridge has backed the possible return of McCarthy to the job, as he believes his former international team-mate has the experience and knowledge to kcik-start a team that stalled under the guidance of O'Neill over the course of 2018.

"I wouldn't have a problem with Mick coming back," Sunday World columnist Aldridge told us. "He has plenty of experience and did a good job last time, but it is a difficult job now.

"He won't have players like Shay Given, Richard Dunne, Damien Duff and Robbie Keane to build a team around and while it may have been time for Martin O'Neill to move on, his successor has a difficult task.

"In an ideal world, I'd love to see Chris Hughton take the job because he has proved himself to be a fantastic manager for a long time now and he is also a wonderful, but he won't leave Brighton for the Ireland job at the moment. Managing in the Premier League is far more attractive.

"We just don't have enough quality players to compete at the top end of the international game and that is especially the case in the attacking end of the team.

"What you can say is teams like Iceland have done well with limited resources in recent years and we have to look at them and see whether we can follow in their footsteps. If Mick gets the job, I wish him all the best."

Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny is believed to have been approached to assess whether he would be interested in becoming Republic of Ireland under-21 boss, but it appears McCarthy is now the prime candidate to take on the top job in Irish soccer once again.

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