Mick McCarthy favourite for Republic of Ireland return

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 17 October 2013, 09:43

Mick McCarthyMick McCarthy is reportedly debating over whether to return to the Republic of Ireland dugout 11 years after stepping down. The Ipswich boss, who last month stated he would be tempted by the vacancy if he was unemployed, is currently the narrow favourite in the Next Ireland Manager Odds, with Sky Bet pricing him at evens.

The Football Association of Ireland are said to keen to make an appointment before the end of 2013. They opted to sack the under-fire Italian Giovanni Trapattoni back in September following back-to-back defeats to Sweden and Austria which all but ended the country’s chances of making Brazil 2014. In the end Ireland finished in a disappointing 4th-place in Group C, six points adrift of 2nd.

McCarthy previously managed Ireland for six years between 1996 and 2002, and during that time he memorably led them through to the last-16 of the 2002 World Cup, which remains the last World Cup that they appeared in. The 54-year-old has gone on to manage the likes of Sunderland and Wolves, and since November 2012 has been in charge of Championship side Ipswich.

Former frontrunner Martin O'Neill was expected to take charge of Ireland but is believed to have distanced himself from the job as he favours a return to the Premier League. However, the Ulsterman remains in contention for the job, with Gerard Houllier and Roy Keane also in the mix.

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