By Damian Dolan.
The Ireland job is Martin O’Neill’s for the taking with his rivals practically making a guard of honour for him all the way to the FAI’s Abbotstown door.
Brian McDermott, Chris Hughton and Mick McCarthy have all ruled themselves out of the running, publically at least, and with the consensus being that the FAI will opt for an Irish manager, after Giovanni Trapattoni’s five-year reign was ended by ‘mutual consent’ last week following the 1-0 defeat to Austria, the path would appear clear for O’Neil, who has been out of a job since being sacked as Sunderland boss in March.
FAI chief executive John Delaney has refused to rule out Roy Keane, or anyone for that matter, but the former Ireland captain shouldn’t expect a phone call any time soon, and nor would he necessarily be interested given the nice cushy gig he’s got going on with ITV.
“He’s [Keane] been mentioned and I’m not surprised by that,” said Delaney. “I won’t comment on individuals – that would be wrong. I wouldn’t rule anyone in or out.
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