John Delaney insists, 'It's early days'

John Delaney insists, 'It's early days'

John Delaney insists, 'It's early days'

John Delaney has insisted no decisions have yet been taken over the Republic of Ireland's managerial vacancy.

Martin O'Neill was the bookmakers' favourite to succeed Giovanni Trapattoni even before his reign came to an end on Wednesday morning, and his odds have been slashed since the Italian's departure.

But the former Sunderland and Aston Villa manager claims he has not been contacted over the vacancy.

He told BBC Radio Five Live on Thursday night: "I have had no contact whatsoever from anyone at the Irish FA at this moment and there's not much more I can say about it."

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert, though, believes O'Neill is an ideal candidate.

He said: "There's no doubt about it, he could do the job standing on his head. No problem.

"I've always said he's a fantastic manager and it would be up to him whether he'd want to go into international football or go back to club football. I don't know but whoever takes him has got a great manager."

However, Football Association of Ireland chief executive Delaney told Sky Sports News: "We are going to get a new manager and that manager's objectives will be to get us to the European Championship in 2016.

"Football, as we all know, tends to surprise us, but I wouldn't read anything into someone being a favourite or not being a favourite."

It is understood O'Neill's name is at the very top of the FAI's list, and that the 61-year-old Ulsterman, who was relieved of his duties at Sunderland in March, is open to an approach.

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