Sheffield United's Republic of Ireland players will have a new boss when they eventually kick off again

The four Republic of Ireland players in Sheffield United’s squad will have a new manager the next time they report for international duty.

By Chris Holt
Sunday, 5th April 2020, 11:16 am

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) announced on Saturday that Mick McCarthy has stepped down early from his role as boss, with Stephen Kenny taking charge.

This was always the governing body’s plan, however football’s shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic has hastened the change.

McCarthy was due to remain in the role until the end of July, which they hoped would take in Euro 2020, however with no football being played the decision was taken to move Kenny into the position earlier than expected.

Sheffield United's David McGoldrick with former Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

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The Republic, who have Blades players David McGoldrick, John Egan, Enda Stevens and Callum Robinson (on loan at West Brom) in their squad, are due to face Slovakia away in the qualifying play-offs for the tournament which will now take place next summer.

The winner will face Northern Ireland or Bosnia and Herzegovina for a place in the competition.

"I said I was leaving and that is still the case, albeit of course it has been brought forward by what is happening worldwide," McCarthy said.

Stpehen Kenny has stepped up from the Republic of Ireland's under 21 manager to take charge of the senior squad (Photo by Harry Murphy/Getty Images)

"It is hugely disappointing (not to finish the job) but I understand it as well. I think we have had a really good campaign and the play-offs have been pushed back and I fully understand it.

"Stephen is contracted to take over in August and good luck to him. He will get the chance now to qualify.

"I want to say thank you to all of them (players and staff) for the commitment they've shown and the professionalism they've shown."

Kenny made his name as a coach in the League of Ireland, where he managed Longford, Bohemians, Derry City, Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk with a spell at Dunfermline in between.

In 2016 the Dubliner led Dundalk to within one match of qualfying for the group stages of the Champions League, though defeated they did make it into the Europa League.

Kenny took over as Republic of Ireland under 21s manager in 2018, with a plan in place for him move up to lead the senior set-up and replace McCarthy after the end of Euro 2020.

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