Mark Lawrenson: 'The FAI don't know who they want as Ireland manager'

Mark Lawrenson: 'The FAI don't know who they want as Ireland manager'

Former Republic of Ireland player Mark Lawrenson believes that the FAI (Football Association of Ireland) does not have an idea of who they would like to be the next Ireland manager. 

Several candidates have already been linked to the role since Stephen Kenny's contract and Ireland's football governing body parted ways last month. 

The likes of Steve Bruce and Sam Allardyce have already expressed their interest in separate interviews. However, Ireland's football is at a crossroads and has opted for untried and tested candidates before. This means the next appointment is up in the air as to who it might be. 

Lawrenson believes Steve Bruce could do a job, but he also believes the FAI isn't as sure as he is when it comes to their final pick. 

“It’s a difficult one [to say who should be the next Ireland manager]. I know Steve Bruce; he’s a really top bloke, and players play for him. I don’t know who it should be, and the FAI, the Football Association of Ireland, really don’t know either," he said. 

Former Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny (Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

“Do you employ a guy who is really good when you interview him, or do you look at his record? It’s such a different thing, international management – you can’t buy any players; you’ve got what you’ve got, and the idea is to improve them. Could Steve Bruce do that? Arguably yes, but I’m really not sure, and I think the FAI is not sure either – we will wait and see."

Current England U-21 manager Lee Carsley has also been linked to Kenny's old job. Lawrenson believes at the end of the saga, the FAI would like to employ the former Ireland international, but at the end of the day, that is up to the Birmingham native. 

“I just have a feeling that they want Lee Carsley – I don’t know whether he wants to go, or whether the English FA will let him go, but he will seem to be probably the favourite. He’s managing England Under 21s – he should be winning every game he plays because of their strength. I don’t think it will be someone in the League of Ireland – some people were saying Damian Duff; he’s done well so far, but it’s early days as far as management is concerned.” 

Mark Lawrenson was speaking to Paddy Power