Damien Duff has welcomed the appointment of Mick McCarthy for a second spell as Republic of Ireland manager but says announcing in advance that Stephen Kenny will take over in 2020 is "a bit mad".

"Mick is the outstanding candidate for me. Stephen Kenny has done an amazing job with Dundalk but to bring stability back to the whole organisation, Mick is your man," the former Ireland international told RTÉ Sport's Darren Frehill. "He's a man you'll follow. A proper personality, a football man.

"Mick's successor being announced already is unheard of in football. I find it strange, a bit mad. John (Delaney) says this is the new pathway, the new vision, hopefully it is a masterstroke but we'll see.

"There are so many what-ifs. What if Mick does amazingly well, gets us to the Euros, to the quarters, semis or final? (Then) He has to stay on.

"I'd like to know what's in the small print. I can see Mick doing well and for him to walk away after two great years... it's crazy stuff.

"On the flipside, Stephen Kenny will be working in the organisation for two years.

"God forbid, I'm sure it won't happen, but let's say the FAI don't like the way he works and he's not up for the job in two years' time. What happens then?"

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Duff, who was given the first of his 100 caps by McCarthy in 1998, is convinced that the new boss will improve fortunes on the pitch. Ireland scored just four goals in nine games in 2018 under Martin O'Neill.

"I think we'll be a lot more aggressive in our play. I don't think he'll play with two strikers, like he used to, but he'll get us up the pitch.

"My abiding memory of the past couple of years is just us camped around our own box.

"He likes crosses. He wants balls in the box and people attacking it so I think we'll score an awful lot more goals than we have done recently."

The Shamrock Rovers Under-15 coach also believes that McCarthy's experience of qualifying for Ireland through ancestry might give him an edge in persuading Declan Rice to stick with the green jersey despite interest from England. 

"It's something he can relate to," said Duff. "Mick was born in England but there was no prouder Irishman.

"He has that personality that might sway Declan back to us.

"He's a player that we dearly need. We don't have the strongest of squads. He's potentially going to be a world-class player for many years to come and a future captain of Ireland.

"I think if there is one man that will bring him back, it's Mick.

"He's been down that pathway. He didn't hum and haw about playing for Ireland like Declan is but I think he could get him back."