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Why John Giles is backing Mick McCarthy for the Ireland job

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98FM

08:17 22 Nov 2018


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Back in October, following the continuation of the poor results of 2018, John Giles told us he was leaning slightly on the side of making a change in the Ireland management team.

A month on and that change has now happened with Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane departing after two more matches in which the Boys in Green failed to score and saw their relegation from League B of the Nations League confirmed.

Why John Giles is backing Mick McCarthy for the Ireland job

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As the FAI search for a new manager, Ireland and Leeds legend John joined us as always on a Thursday to give us his verdict on the five years of the O'Neill era and what he would like to see happen next.

"I think so," John replied when asked if the correct decision was made to part ways with O'Neill and Keane.

"Things got very, very bad. Recent matches, particularly there didn't seem to be any hope from those particular matches and I think it came to the right conclusion."

He also felt the lack of consistency of selection coupled with the loss of key players ended up having a detrimental impact on the progression of the team. 

But who does John want to see become next Ireland manager?

"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," said the Leeds and Ireland midfield legend.

"But 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."  

As for the potential candidacy of Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny, there have been points made in some quarters that Big Mick would receive a much more impressed immediate reaction from the current players than Kenny would.

On that point, he said: "I think it is an issue. 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."

Of the other names floated, John said he likes Brighton manager Chris Hughton but wouldn't have ex-England and Bolton boss Sam Allardyce "at any price".

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