Damien Duff: FAI's Mick McCarthy succession plan is 'crazy stuff'

Damien Duff: FAI's Mick McCarthy succession plan is 'crazy stuff'

Damien Duff has criticised the FAI's "crazy" decision to appoint Stephen Kenny in advance as Mick McCarthy's successor.

McCarthy will guide Ireland through the Euro 2020 campaign, before handing the reins over to Kenny, who will manage the U21s and oversee the underage set-up in the interim.

The Ireland legend, who played under McCarthy at the 2002 World Cup, says his former manager is the best man for the job.

"Mick is the outstanding candidate for me. Stephen Kenny has done an amazing job with Dundalk but to bring stability back to the whole organisation, Mick is your man," he told Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio One.

"He's a man you'll follow. A proper personality, a football man.

"Mick's successor being announced already is unheard of in football. I find it strange, a bit mad. If John [Delaney] says this is the new pathway, the new vision, hopefully it is a masterstroke but we'll see."

His biggest issue with the double-appointment is the possibility of letting McCarthy go even if he does an exceptional job.

"There are so many what-ifs. What if Mick does amazingly well, gets us to the Euros, to the quarters, semis or final? (Then) he absolutely has to stay on.

"On the flipside, Stephen Kenny will be working in the organisation for two years.

"God forbid, I'm sure it won't happen, but let's say the FAI don't like the way he works and he's not up for the job in two years' time. What happens then?

"I'd like to know what's in the small print. I can see Mick doing well and for him to walk away after two great years... it's crazy stuff."

He expects Ireland to play more aggressive, attacking football under McCarthy, with plenty of crosses into the box.

He also says McCarthy is the right man to attract Declan Rice back into the Ireland set-up.

"It's something he can relate to. Mick was born in England but there was no prouder Irishman.

"He has that personality that might sway Declan back to us.

"He's a player that we dearly need. We don't have the strongest of squads. He's potentially going to be a world-class player for many years to come and a future captain of Ireland.

"I think if there is one man that will bring him back, it's Mick.

"He's been down that pathway. He didn't hum and haw about playing for Ireland like Declan is but I think he could get him back."

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