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Mick McCarthy set to be appointed as Ireland manager - reports

The former international previously managed the Boys in Green between 1996 and 2002.

Mick McCarthy (file pic).
Mick McCarthy (file pic).
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Updated at 19.12

MICK MCCARTHY IS set to be appointed for a second spell as Ireland manager, according to reports this evening.

Virgin Media Sport – who employ the former Ipswich and Sunderland boss as a pundit — first reported that the Football Association of Ireland have made McCarthy an offer to succeed Martin O’Neill.

And John Fallon in the Irish Examiner reports that the 59-year-old has agreed a deal to take over.

McCarthy, along with Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny, had been tipped as a front-runner for the position following confirmation of O’Neill’s departure on Wednesday.

Reports also indicate that Terry Connor — who was previously McCarthy’s assistant at Wolves and Ipswich — will be his number two.

Legendary Irish striker Robbie Keane, who holds the record for goals scored for his country, is also expected to form part of the coaching set-up.

The news is likely to come as a disappointment to a number of candidates who expressed an interest, most notably Kenny, who has reportedly been offered a role as Ireland U21 boss instead.

According to Philip Quinn of the Irish Daily Mail, McCarthy is set to earn between €1 million and €1.2m per year, which is significantly less than the €2m annual salary O’Neill was reportedly earning prior to his departure.

McCarthy has long been a popular figure in Ireland. Born in Barnsley, he qualified to represent Ireland through his Waterford-born father and appeared for the Boys in Green 57 times.

He was part of the Irish team when they made their first appearance at a major tournament in Euro ’88, while he captained the side the first time they reached the World Cup in 1990.

The former Barnsley, Man City, Celtic and Lyon star joined Millwall as player-manager in 1992, before succeeding Jack Charlton as Irish boss in 1996.

The job he did in his first spell with the Boys in Green was widely regarded as successful, leading them to the World Cup second round in 2002 and spending six years in the job in total.

The manager’s first term ended on a sour note, however. Having fallen out with captain Roy Keane prior to the World Cup and ostracised him from the squad, pressure grew on McCarthy and he resigned amid a poor start to Ireland’s Euro 2004 qualifying campaign after losing 4-2 away to Russia and 2-1 at home to Switzerland.

Yet McCarthy has since recovered well from that setback, helping both Sunderland and Wolves gain promotion to the Premier League, as well as getting to the Championship play-offs with an Ipswich side who have promptly become relegation candidates in his absence.

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Paul Fennessy

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