Mick McCarthy linked with an Ireland return

Former Wolves boss Mick McCarthy has emerged as the frontrunner for the Ireland job if Giovanni Trapattoni is forced out.

Mick McCarthy is sacked from Wolverhampton Wanderers

Pressure has grown on the 73-year-old Italian after Friday’s 6-1 drubbing by Germany in Dublin.

McCarthy has been installed as favourite to take the hotseat he occupied from 1996-2002, with former Ireland defender Mark Lawrenson tipping the 53-year-old ex-national team boss to bring back the feelgood factor.

McCarthy has made no secret of his desire to manage again at international level one day, and was tempted by the South Korea post during his time at Molineux.

Trapattoni today insisted he is going nowhere after one report claiming he will be relieved of his duties by the end of the week whatever happens in tonight’s World Cup qualifier away to the Faroe Islands in Torshavn.

That, coupled with claims mild-mannered defender Stephen Kelly, an unused substitute on Friday, had to be persuaded to board the plane after a fall-out with assistant manager Marco Tardelli, sparked a mutinous atmosphere as Trapattoni was grilled by journalists.

But with McCarthy and Harry Redknapp already being linked with the job, Trapattoni was stubbornly refusing to consider that his job might be in jeopardy.

Asked if he expected tonight’s game to be his last as Ireland manager, he replied: “Absolutely not.

“Why? We’ve lost one game to Germany. There’s no reason.”

Asked further if he still believed he had the support of the Football Association of Ireland, he said: “They have to decide, not me.”

Asked if he expected to see out his contract, he admitted: “I don’t know. Game to game, we can show the results we’ve achieved, but it’s not me who will decide.”

If Trapattoni is to go, he will have to be pushed, and that could prove expensive for the FAI.

The salaries of Trapattoni and his staff have been part-funded by businessman Denis O’Brien, and it seems certain he will have a significant say in what happens.