Who are the contenders to replace Stephen Kenny as Republic of Ireland boss?

Could Roy Keane return as manager? (PA)
Could Roy Keane return as manager? (PA)

The Republic of Ireland are looking for a new manager after Stephen Kenny’s ill-fated reign drew to a close on Wednesday.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the men who could come under consideration for the vacant post.

Lee Carsley

Lee Carsley is the England Under-21 manager
Lee Carsley is the England Under-21 manager (Martin Rickett/PA)

Former Derby and Everton midfielder Carsley has enjoyed significant success as England Under-21s boss, guiding his side to European Championship glory last summer. Birmingham-born, he won 40 senior caps for Ireland and, at 49, has a wealth of coaching experience with Coventry, Sheffield United, Brentford, Manchester City, Birmingham and England Under-20s.

Roy Keane

The former Republic skipper remains a divisive figure in his native country after his bust-up with McCarthy in Saipan ahead of the 2002 World Cup finals, and it is approaching 13 years since he last managed in his own right at Ipswich. The 52-year-old former Manchester United star served as Martin O’Neill’s number two during his five-year reign with Ireland and, while he still enjoys the kind of profile which makes him a major figure in football, his lack of recent work as a coach – he spent five months working under O’Neill at Nottingham Forest in 2019 – may not be in his favour.

Chris Hughton

Chris Hughton is an ex-Ireland international
Chris Hughton is an ex-Ireland international (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Current Ghana boss Hughton, who won 53 caps for Ireland as a player, has vast experience as a manager, guiding Newcastle and Brighton into the Premier League either side of spells in charge at Birmingham and Norwich. The 64-year-old was less successful in his most recent domestic role at Nottingham Forest, but has been working on the international stage since February and would tick a lot of boxes.

Sam Allardyce

Allardyce, who began his managerial career in Ireland with Limerick, has track record reorganising and revitalising struggling teams and there is little doubt that he would make the Republic more difficult to beat as a first port of call. Now 69, he last worked at Leeds, where he was parachuted in for a brief, desperate and ultimately futile Premier League rescue mission at the end of last season.

Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon enjoyed success with Celtic
Neil Lennon enjoyed success with Celtic (PA)

Former Northern Ireland international Lennon has long been touted as a future Ireland manager after the success of his first spell at Celtic, during which he led the club to three successive Scottish Premiership successes, two Scottish Cup wins and the last 16 in the Champions League. However, his stock has fallen since his second incarnation at Celtic Park ended in disarray in February 2021 with the Bhoys trailing arch-rivals Rangers by 18 points.

Mick McCarthy

McCarthy’s disgruntlement at the succession plan which saw Kenny replace him ahead of a Euro 2020 play-off tie against Slovakia was only thinly disguised, and he was not alone at the time. The prospect of taking the job for a third time might prove attractive to the 64-year-old, who guided the nation to the 2002 World Cup finals in South Korea and Japan, who has worked at Cardiff and Blackpool since his second international exit.