The search for a new Republic of Ireland manager was launched on Wednesday after Martin O’Neill and assistant Roy Keane’s five-year reign drew to a close.
Football Association of Ireland chiefs are desperate to make a swift appointment, with the draw for Euro 2020 qualification due to take place in Dublin on December 2.
Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at some of the contenders.
McCarthy, of course, has previous, having guided the Republic to the 2002 World Cup finals during almost seven years at the helm. The former Ireland defender, who was capped 57 times, is still held in high regard, despite his famous Saipan bust-up with Roy Keane and, perhaps more importantly, is available – and understood to be interested – following is departure from Ipswich in April.
As O’Neill’s reign entered its death throes, the case for Kenny’s appointment as his replacement received a measure of popular support. He has just guided SSE Airtricity League Dundalk to a second domestic double, has four league titles to his name in five seasons and took the club to the knockout stages of the Europa League in 2016.
Brighton boss Hughton played 53 times for Ireland during a distinguished career and has enhanced his reputation since moving into coaching. He had spells at Newcastle, Birmingham and Norwich before being handed the reins at Brighton in December 2014 and steering the club into the Premier League. His success in keeping them there means he would be difficult to prise away.
Current Hibernian boss Neil Lennon won 40 senior caps for Northern Ireland, but the then Celtic midfielder retired from international football in 2002 after being warned by police of threats from loyalist paramilitaries because of his Catholic roots. He won five major honours after taking over the managerial hot-seat at Parkhead and famously guided the Bhoys to a Champions League victory over Barcelona, and he also had a spell in charge at Bolton before heading back north of the border.
English-born Bruce qualified to play for the Republic through his late mother, but was ultimately never capped at senior level by either country, despite his success at Manchester United. The hugely experienced former Sheffield United, Huddersfield, Crystal Palace, Birmingham, Wigan, Sunderland and Hull manager is available after leaving Aston Villa in October following a poor run of results.