DFC | Kenny cools talk linking him with the Republic of Ireland job

Dundalk boss expects Martin O’Neill to remain in the Irish hotseat

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny. PICTURE: TOM BEARY

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny has played down speculation linking him with the Republic of Ireland manager’s job.

The 45-year-old has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Martin O’Neill who is under pressure following last week’s draw with Georgia and the subsequent defeat against Serbia in the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers.

Writing in his column with The Sun during the week, former Dundalk captain Dermot Keely said that Kenny ‘could easily manage Ireland’ while Eamon Dunphy has also backed the Lilywhites boss to take over the national team in the future.

However, speaking after the 4–0 FAI Cup win over Drogheda United on Friday night, Kenny did his best to bat the question away when asked if he would be interested in taking the job.

“The reality is that Martin O’Neill is the manager,” he said. “He’s had a great career and Ireland still have a chance of qualifying for the World Cup.

“Whether they do or don’t, I’d expect him to be the manager going forward so I don’t even think there is a question there to be answered. It would be disrespectful of me to discuss it.

“Martin is a fine manager and he could be there for the next 10 years. That’s the way I view it.”

Kenny did admit that it was every coach’s dream to lead their country but he reiterated his belief that O’Neill would remain in the Irish hot seat for some time.

“Of course, every coach would like to manage their country,” he said. “I think that goes without saying — and who would turn that down — but there is a highly esteemed man who has achieved great things in football in charge at the moment.

“He has already qualified for the Euros in the last campaign and I’d fully expect Martin to be the manager for the next campaign,” he added.

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