NOEL KING HAS been confirmed as Ireland’s caretaker manager, the FAI has confirmed.
The 57-year-old, who has been in charge of the Under-21 side since 2010, has been entrusted with leading the senior squad for their remaining World Cup Qualifiers until a suitable replacement is found.
According to an official statement from the FAI, King has been named as ‘interim senior manager’. The association’s High Performance Director, Ruud Dokter will provide additional support to the Dubliner. Current U21 Assistant Coach, Harry McCue will take charge of the U21 qualification matches against Romania in October.
King takes over from Giovanni Trapattoni, who stepped down from his role as national team boss following a disappointing qualifying campaign for Brazil 2014. Defeats to Germany, Sweden and Austria scuttled any Irish hopes of reaching a second major tournament in succession.
The FAI statement read: “[Our] board of management met this evening to review the work it has been doing on the senior men’s team managerial appointment and to progress the next steps in the appointment process.”
The association has tasked Dokter and former Ireland and Liverpool midfielder Ray Houghton, who was involved in targeting Trapattoni, with carrying out a ‘comprehensive assessment of the market’. Tellingly, the statement continued:
The [board] resolved that it will take the appropriate time to appoint the best person to manage Ireland for the Euro 2016 campaign which starts in September next year.”
Noel has worked first hand with many current senior players during their time at U21 level including Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy, Robbie Brady and Jeff Hendrick.
In a poll carried out by TheScore.ie today, 42% of fans said they would not be happy with the appointment of King as caretaker. 18% declared they would be happy while 38% voted ‘other’, which perhaps explains the diffidence the team is regarded with after their recent slump in form.