Chris Hughton and Brian McDermott rule themselves out of Ireland contention
Mooted successors to Trapattoni cite club loyalty as the reason they are going nowhere
Norwich City manager Chris Hughton has ruled out succeeding Giovanni Trapattoni as Ireland manager. Photograph: Richard Sellers/PA Wire
Leeds United manager Brian McDermott says now is not hte time to think about managing Ireland. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA Wire
McDermott admitted this morning that, while he would like to manager Ireland at some stage in his career, now is not the time and he remains committed to life at Elland Road.
Soon afterwards, Hughton took the opportunity at his own club press conference to end speculation on his future.
“I’m Norwich City manager,” said Hughton, “ I am extremely happy here. We spent and invested more this summer than we ever have done. I have had support from the board here. I have a group of supporters who are fanatical and want this team to do well and I have the same challenges here as the supporters and the players have. I am incredibly happy here.
“There has been no official approach. We are a club I would like to think which is going in the right direction.”
Hughton was coy on the question of whether he would like to manage the Republic some time in the future, not wanting to fuel any conjecture before Norwich face his former club Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
“I can only answer questions to the appropriate people which is why my decision is to talk about how happy I am here at Norwich,” said Hughton. “Anything I might say over and above that might be construed in a different way. I was very proud to play for Ireland and I always want to see Ireland winning football matches, but my responsibility is here.
“The club have shown great faith in me. They have spent very big in the summer. There is a project here, one started before I got here, and it is a challenge I am very much looking forward to.
“There will be some very good names mentioned. I don’t know which way they will go but there won’t be any shortage of candidates.
“For anybody who takes a job like that it is about timing. It is a different management philosophy (Premier League compared to international), a different week, the simple one is that it is day to day football and involvement with players (in the Premier League) and international level is not that. But it suits some people at some stage and others not.”
Hughton said that he was not surprised by Trapattoni’s sacking but added: “He’s done a fantastic job there. We have to respect the fact that it is a nation that is not expected to qualify for all the championships that they enter. I am disappointed to see him go because he is a fellow manager.”
Hughton was an outsider with the bookmakers, at around 25/1, but as a former Ireland international and assistant coach to Brian Kerr, having come good in Premier League management, he would have been popular choice.
McDermott, perhaps, less so, but he was backed in from 16/1 to 5/2 since Trapattoni’s departure.
“My situation is that one day I want to manage the Republic of Ireland,” he said today. “But at this moment in time I’m at a fantastic football club and I feel I owe this club and these supporters.
“I’m here and I’m committed, 100 per cent. I regard Leeds United as a very big club. At this moment I wouldn’t be leaving Leeds United. In years to come when Leeds United get fed up of me, that might be the case.”
Both candidates were named by FAI chief executive John Delaney when he was asked about potential replacements for Trapattoni. His comments are believed to have irked the Leeds boardroom, but they were a source of “pride” for McDermott.
“My reaction to that is immense pride more than anything,” he added. “If you consider that I’ve been a manager at this level for four and a bit years and to get to that gives me nothing but pride. I’m probably doing something right, which is good. Everyone knows how I feel about Ireland.”
Martin O’Neill remains the strong favourite this morning and it is understood the former Sunderland and Celtic manager is interested in the role, left vacant yesterday when the FAI and Trapattoni parted company “by mutual consent” after Ireland’s World Cup hopes were all but ended by a 1-0 defeat to Austria in Vienna.