Football

Stephen Hunt Outlines Why Chris Hughton Deserves To Be Ireland's Next Manager

Stephen Hunt Outlines Why Chris Hughton Deserves To Be Ireland's Next Manager

Hours before his Brighton & Hove Albion side picked up a vital three points with a 1-0 win over Newcasle, Chris Hughton was being championed for the Ireland job by former international Stephen Hunt.

In his column for the Sunday Independent, Hunt acknowledged that he expects the duo of Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane to stay on for the next qualification campaign and possibly even the next one after that, but when the time comes to appoint a new manager for the boys in green he is certain that Hughton is the right man.

The former Reading man outlined his four candidates for the potential which were Roy Keane, Sam Allardyce, Mick McCarthy, and Hughton, who Hunt believes has just the right attitude and mentality to get the most out of the players at his disposal.

When, or if, he decides he is ready for the Ireland job, he deserves to be considered.

Wherever he has worked, as a manager or a number two, Chris has always just got on with his job in a professional and hard-working manner. He doesn't crave the attention, rant and rave or react and get involved in controversies. He must be a nightmare for the media sometimes because he very rarely gives anything away. But that's not his job. His job is to get results.

I am sure he has his moments in private when he is humorous and relaxed, but in his environment, if you have a conversation with him, he responds to you politely and with interest and he is just a very decent man.

He has succeeded at Brighton, where others failed, because the club have been patient and appreciated the job he has done from the start. That makes him an ideal candidate for the Ireland job one day, if he wants it. He understands Ireland for starters and the FAI structure and he knows all about the mentality needed, as I think Martin O'Neill does now for sure.

Hughton has been involved in Ireland setup before as an assistant to Brian Kerr, and after proving his credentials in England it's no surprise that the disgruntled fans who were turned off by Ireland's performances against Georgia and Serbia offered his name as a replacement they wanted to see in charge for the next campaign.

That is not what Hunt was doing here, but he was making it clear that he believes Hughton deserves serious consideration should the role of Ireland manager need to be filled in the future.

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The question is; Would he want the job?

If he can keep Brighton in the Premier League this season he will be on the radar of countless clubs in England who would be willing to offer him more money for a more prestigious job.

On the flip-side, you never know what is around the corner in football, and by the time the Ireland position becomes vacant he could be looking for work.

It's not something that the FAI will be worrying about for a while, but it's something to consider. Chris Hughton has done an outstanding job with Brighton and here's hoping he can continue to impress.

You can read Hunt's column in full over on Independent.ie.

Mikey Traynor

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