The FAI should make a decision on Stephen Kenny's future after the start of next year’s Nations League games, rather than before it, according to Noel King.
In a turbulent campaign that reached a low in the home defeat to Luxembourg, Ireland showed an upturn in fortunes - three wins and four clean sheets across October and November to finish third in their World Cup qualifying group after concluding the season with a 3-0 away win against Luxembourg on Sunday.
The FAI are scheduled to meet on 29 November for a review of the World Cup campaign where it is expected that after a very difficult start in the role, Kenny has turned things around sufficiently to lead the country through the 2024 European Championship qualifiers.
Speaking ahead of Ireland’s European Under-21 Championship qualifier against Sweden, King, who took charge of the Irish senior team for two games in 2013 as interim manager following the resignation of Giovanni Trapattoni, agrees with Liam Brady’s opinion that the board would be better served waiting on a decision.
Ireland will play two friendlies in March and four Nations League encounters in June. Kenny’s contract is up in July with the two final Nations League games coming in September.
"I’m pro-Ireland. I’m not anti-Stephen Kenny, not anti-anybody. I think he’d be a very lucky man at this stage [to get a new contract]," he said.
I don't understand why people would want to give anybody, not just Stephen, a contract before we start on a new campaign
"I agree with what Liam Brady said, there’s no rush. Why would you rush?
"The Nations League is six games against teams around our own seedings. I think that would be a great judge to see how we go.
"I don’t see the benefits of giving him a contract extension at this stage. I don’t understand why people would want to give anybody, not just Stephen, a contract before we start on a new campaign.
"This is a new competition, six games against teams around ourselves. It will be a great opportunity for Stephen and go from there. Let’s look then at two years, four years if he wants, but he still has to come out of the bad sequence of results."
Fellow panellist and women’s international Áine O’Gorman took a differing view and believes the upturn in form deserves to be rewarded with a vote of confidence.
"I’d back Stephen Kenny, I’m a big fan," she said. "They have come a long way from the Luxembourg defeat in Dublin. I think the future is bright.
"I think from the campaign, you can see there is a togetherness in the squad. The players have come out publicly and backed the manager. I think they’d like to see him continue on and give that stability."