Brady reveals top three for Ireland job if Trap mission fails

Chris Hughton, Mick McCarthy and Owen Coyle — these are Liam Brady’s preferred candidates for the job of succeeding Giovanni Trapattoni as Ireland manager.

Ruling himself out of the running, Brady believes that only qualification for World Cup 2014 would leave the road open for Marco Tardelli to take over from Trapattoni. But, if things go badly on the road to Brazil, Brady doesn’t believe the veteran will make it easy for the FAI by walking away.

Irish football legend Brady, previously a member of Trapattoni’s management team, is still hopeful Ireland will qualify for the World Cup finals, but he accepts this month’s qualifiers against Sweden and Austria will be make or break for the Italian’s chances of retaining his position.

“I think that’s fair comment,” he says of Trap’s future. “I think he would see that as being the case. If we don’t do points-wise what we have to do to keep us in the group, he wouldn’t feel it’s unexpected if it [the end of his tenure] were to come. But then you guys write so much about how the FAI can’t afford to finish his contract early.

“I’ve been vocal in his support because I don’t think the group is over yet. I still think we have a fair chance. I think the team is still playing for him. I don’t care what anyone says. Even with the whacking we got by Germany, I think the team is still with him. That’s why I’ve been very supportive. Let’s see how the points tally ends up. But if we don’t qualify, probably Marco and Giovanni will know their contracts won’t be renewed. Trap is being beaten with this salary stick all the time but it is relevant. If you’re going to get a top manager, you’ve got to be able to pay him. The Premier League is getting wealthier all the time, and the Championship too. I would see it as three candidates, but would Chris Hughton leave the Premier League to come and manage Ireland? That’s a big question mark.

“Mick McCarthy is another. He’s at a great club at Ipswich, who have had their problems, but Mick is relishing the challenge of sorting them out.

“The other guy I’d like to see is the guy who got the sack recently, Owen Coyle. I think he is a very good, experienced manager. He may be somebody the FAI would consider if Giovanni goes. But I’m hoping Giovanni pulls the ace out of the pack.”

But of one thing Brady is certain — even if the next two games go badly, Trapattoni won’t quit.

“I don’t think it’s in his make-up to quit. I think he’ll have to be forced to step down, if he is going to step down.”

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that, in a rare visit to a domestic game, Trapattoni will attend Friday night’s Airtricity League opener between St Patrick’s Athletic and Drogheda United at Richmond Park having, earlier in the day, named his squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

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