Damien Delaney has called for Stephen Kenny to immediately replace Mick McCarthy as the Republic of Ireland manager following the team’s failure to qualify automatically for Euro 2020.
Kenny, the Ireland Under-21 coach, will succeed McCarthy as the senior team manager in August 2020.
However, following the 1-1 draw with Denmark on Monday night, which confirmed Ireland’s place in a playoff and saw the Danes secure their spot at the tournament next summer, Delaney called for an immediate regime change.
The former Crystal Palace defender, who earned nine caps for Ireland, said that the time has come to “start the process” of a managerial change and that McCarthy should be replaced by Kenny ahead of the next round of games in March.
Ireland were spirited, aggressive and committed in the match against Denmark, and produced possibly their best performance of the qualification campaign.
However, despite Matt Doherty’s equaliser late in the game, they largely struggled to create goal-scoring chances.
Delaney said Ireland’s performance against Denmark was the best one could expect from Ireland under the current coach.
“I think Mick’s got as much out as he’s going to get out of the players with the way we’re going about it,” he said on Off The Ball.
“Okay, it was a decent performance but it wasn’t fantastic. We lacked a little bit of quality but we’ve been saying that for how long now?
“Look, I don’t think you can ask any more of Mick McCarthy. He did what he said he was going to do. He got us there. We were within five minutes of clinching a winner and getting us there. I think he’s done all he can do if I’m being honest with you.”
Delaney went on to say that Ireland must “move away” from the direct style of play McCarthy and previous managers have adopted as it is “just not good enough.” The former Cork City defender said the gap with other sides is “only going to keep getting bigger.”
“I like Mick I really do,” he continued.
“I think he’s a fantastic fella and all that but we’ve tried this way and we’ve been trying it for a long time and yeah we’ve had a little bit of success with it.
“But let’s start the process now. Let’s just go, man.”