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Eamon Dunphy: ‘The FAI should consider Ipswich’s Kieran McKenna for the Ireland job’ | The Irish Post

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Eamon Dunphy: ‘The FAI should consider Ipswich’s Kieran McKenna for the Ireland job’ | The Irish Post

Former Irish media pundit Eamon Dunphy has claimed that the FAI should be doing everything in their power to make Kieran McKenna the next manager of the Republic of Ireland football team.

The FAI have been looking for a new boss since sacking Stephen Kenny in November. Since then, a host of names have been linked, like Lee Carsley, Roy Keane, and Gus Poyet, all of whom were named before the role was temporarily given to John O’Shea for the last and upcoming international windows.

One candidate who was mentioned briefly in the past was Ipswich’s Kieran McKenna. This was mainly due to his nationality and putting two and two together. There was no real substance to the rumour.

However, the Fermanagh native has guided Ipswich from League One to the Premier League in two seasons at the age of 37. His stock in English football has grown exponentially since taking the job, and he is now seen as a potential hire for Ireland by some.

Dunphy believes that the FAI should be banging on McKenna’s door to get him in as Ireland manager because of what he has achieved  so far with little money.

“So he has done a miraculous job with Ipswich on a shoestring. He has made the whole far greater than the sum of the parts. That’s exactly what we want in a manager,” said Dunphy in his Irish Mirror column.

“The FAI should have been banging down his door to talk to him. And what’s stopping them from doing so now?”

Dunphy also harbours the belief that McKenna is likely to lose his job because of the nature of promoted sides in the Premier League. Most sides that go up come straight back down, barring a few.

The former Millwall player believes that the FAI should be trying to convince McKenna that he still has a future in club football, regardless of what could go wrong with Ireland.

“Sure, he’s going to the Premier League, but that’s an arena that can destroy growing reputations,” he added.

“Ipswich are likely to go straight back down next season, and, looking at the history of promoted teams, McKenna might well end up getting sacked along the way.

“So the FAI should be trying to sell him a different path. Sell him the challenge of improving a talented squad in international football with the knowledge that he is young enough to go back to the club game in a few years’ time.

“Instead, we’re hearing dreary stories of the FAI’s ongoing pursuit of Willy Sagnol, a decent player who is on the journeyman circuit in international football.

“McKenna is clearly talented and ambitious. If only the FAI were. If only they had the cop on to chase a man who should be an obvious target.”

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