FAI chief executive John Delaney has defended the decision to delay the appointment of a permanent Republic of Ireland manager and believes Noel King deserves his chance to take charge of two qualifying matches.
The FAI Board of Management have tasked High Performance Director Ruud Dokter and former international player Ray Houghton to “analyse the market” according to Delaney and help the Association choose the next Ireland manager.
Delaney insisted there was never any expectation on the FAI to make an immediate appointment.
He told RTÉ Sport: “I don't think the time pressure was ever there. Our next competitive game of real importance is September in 12 months time when we play our first game in European Championships qualifying.
“I think it is important we get the right man in. The FAI could appoint one of 20 people today. There has been lots of applications and interest. I think it is better we take our time and make the right appointment.
“We took a lot of time the last time to appoint Giovanni Trapattoni and it turned out to be a very good appointment for us particularly over the first two qualifying groups he managed us for.
“We have decided to asked Ray Houghton and Ruud Dokter, our High Performance Director from Holland, to go to the market, analyse the market, come back to the board and what they think could be a shortlist for the next Ireland manager.”
“Noel King deserves the opportunity to manage the Irish team and good luck to him in October in that regard.” - John Delaney
King makes the step up from Under-21 manager to lead the Irish team in matches with Germany in Cologne and at home to Kazakhstan at the Aviva Stadium.
The games could see a number of players exiled by boss Giovanni Trapattoni return to the squad and Delaney thinks King fits well into the position.
“We have these games in October. Noel will manage those and Noel deserves those by the way. Noel has been technical director of the FAI under Jack Charlton in 1988,” the FAI supremo said.
“He has managed the Women's team, he has managed the Under-21 team, he has played League of Ireland and managed League of Ireland.
“Noel King deserves the opportunity to manage the Irish team and good luck to him in October in that regard.
“In the meantime Ruud and Ray Houghton will check the market out, come back to the FAI board and at that stage we will appraise the public as to what the timeframe will be.”
Martin O’Neill, Mick McCarthy, Roy Keane, Chris Hughton and King are in the frame for the job and while the interim appointment gives an opportunity for more names to enter consideration, Delaney is steadfast in his assessment that the job is an attractive one.
He concluded: “There is no question about that. There is three reasons. First of all 24 teams go to the European Championships next time around as opposed to 16 so qualification becomes an easier task.
“There is good young players there despite what some people may have said.
“People like Seamus Coleman, Robbie Brady, Shane Long, James McCarthy, young (Marc) Wilson, Shane Duffy. many, many good young players.
“On top of that Denis O'Brien's terrific support towards the project, so if we so wish we have the ability to pay a salary that brings a level of interest as well. For a combination of those three reasons, yes the job is attractive.”