Thursday 17 January 2019

'That's a little bit tricky' - Niall Quinn singles out one 'peculiar part' of Ireland's McCarthy/Kenny arrangement

30 November 2018; Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy, left, and Republic of Ireland U21 manager Stephen Kenny at the Printworks, Dublin Castle, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
30 November 2018; Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy, left, and Republic of Ireland U21 manager Stephen Kenny at the Printworks, Dublin Castle, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Former Ireland international Niall Quinn is pleased that the FAI have announced that Stephen Kenny will succeed Mick McCarthy as manager in 2020 - but says it is 'peculiar' that they have already confirmed a time frame for the handover.

After Martin O'Neill left his post in November, the FAI moved quickly to announce that Mick McCarthy would be taking on the job for a second time, having previously held the role between 1996 and 2002.

Shortly afterwards, it emerged that Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny - who had been linked with the vacancy - would be appointed U21 manager with a view to replacing McCarthy as senior manager.

It was then confirmed that Kenny will be in charge for the 2022 World Cup qualification campaign regardless of how well McCarthy does in the interim.

Speaking on the Marian Finucane Show on RTÉ Radio 1, Quinn says that there are both positives and negatives to the arrangement that the FAI have reached with McCarthy and Kenny.

"I think it’s great to know that Stephen Kenny is coming in and that we can build on it and he can learn off [Mick] but putting a date on it was the peculiar part in my reckoning," Quinn said.

"Looking at it, I can see why they did it. It’s a classic each-way bet – if this one doesn’t work out we’ve another one, a two-horse race, we’ll back the two of them.

"But at the same time, Mick could be going really well and I don’t know what’s going to happen. Will Mick McCarthy walk away from a team that’s just qualified for the Euros and had a great time at the Euros and everybody’s in love with it and is it right to take that risk?

"That’s the [part] that’s a little bit tricky but look it’s a good problem to have down the road and I wish them both well.

"I’m delighted for League of Ireland that Stephen Kenny is up [there] and around it and being recognised. He’s a hugely talented guy."

Online Editors

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