Brighton boss Chris Hughton has ruled himself out of the running to succeed Martin O’Neill as Republic of Ireland manager.
But Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny remains firmly in the frame after the 47-year-old admitted it would be the “ultimate honour” to manage the national side following O’Neill’s departure.
Asked at a press conference ahead of his side’s Premier League game against Leicester whether he was interested in the Republic of Ireland job, Hughton said: “No. What I am very interested in is the job that I am doing here.
“I have got a group of players who have worked very hard to get into this division, and certainly that is where all my thoughts and concentrations are.”
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) November 21, 2018
Mick McCarthy is the early favourite to be handed a second spell in charge of the national side and it was reported on Thursday he will meet the FAI this weekend, but Kenny’s name has also been mentioned and he told the Dundalk Democrat: “I think managing your country is the ultimate honour.
“If you offered me the job of managing Real Madrid or Barcelona or Ireland, I would choose to manage Ireland because it’s the greatest honour you can have as an Irishman.”
The FAI is hoping to make a swift appointment, with the draw for the Euro 2020 finals due to take place in Dublin on December 2.
McCarthy, who has been out of work since leaving Ipswich in April, is believed to be keen on the role he relinquished after the 2002 World Cup and has the support of long-time Ireland left-back Ian Harte, who believes there is nobody better equipped for the job.
— Ian Harte (@ianharte23) November 21, 2018
Harte tweeted: “Who is the best person to become manager of Ireland? If it was me I would have Mick McCarthy all day long!!!
“Mick is proven at International level. Plus what he achieved at @Official_ITFC was remarkable as on a shoestring budget! And for me he is brilliant at motivating players.”
Former Republic midfielder Keith Andrews believes O’Neill paid the price for an outdated approach as his side won just once in nine games in 2018.
“The first three-quarters of this reign has to be seen as a successful period,” Andrews said during The Debate on Sky Sports.
“The areas where it falls down… 10 years ago that type of management may well have worked, and we have a lot of players that have retired in the last year to two that would have been used to that type of management. But players now need different requirements.
“So if Martin is that kind of man-management, quirky manager that we’re used to seeing on TV and interviews, that’s fine, but then your back-room staff have to complement that. And if that’s not the case it’s going to fall down, especially when players are getting the level of detail that they are getting now at club level. It doesn’t happen with this Ireland team.
“Progressively it had got worse, going from game to game, system’s not similar, players playing out of position; Cyrus Christie being a prime example playing central midfield the last few games, like a fish out of water. I’ve got sympathy for him but it simply hasn’t worked and it’s the right time to change.”