Stephen Kenny's tenure as Ireland manager is over after it was announced that his contract would not be renewed.

Ireland managed just two wins in their Euro 2024 qualifying group, both against Gibraltar. They lost their other six matches.

A statement issued by the FAI read: "Following a meeting this evening and a presentation to the Board by CEO Jonathan Hill and Director of Football Marc Canham, the FAI Board has decided that Stephen Kenny’s contract as Manager of the Ireland senior men’s national team will not be renewed following the conclusion of the UEFA EURO 2024 qualification process.

READ MORE: Manchester United legend Steve Bruce on the Ireland role and potential link-up with Roy Keane

'The Board agrees that now is the right time for change ahead of the friendly matches in March and June 2024 and the next Nations League campaign starting in September 2024.

FAI CEO Jonathan Hill commented, 'Over the period of his tenure, Stephen and his staff have worked tirelessly to create the right environment to support the development of our senior men’s team, and we are hugely grateful for that considerable contribution.

'Stephen has also overseen an important period of transition for our senior men’s national team and has given debuts to a significant number of new and younger players and this will serve as a solid platform for whoever now takes this group of players forward.'

FAI President Gerry McAnaney added, 'The Board and all at the FAI would like to sincerely thank Stephen and his staff for their hard work, professionalism and unwavering dedication to the team, the fans, and to Irish football. We wish Stephen every success for the future.'

"The recruitment process for a new Head Coach is now underway."

Kenny has been strongly linked to the vacant managerial position at Lincoln City over recent weeks.

Chris Hughton is facing calls to be sacked as Ghana boss, just as the Ireland job opens up.

A slew of candidates will now throw their hat in the ring to succeed Kenny as the association sets about drawing up a shortlist.

And Hughton, the former Newcastle United, Brighton, Nottingham Forest and Norwich City manager, could yet be a contender.

The ex-Ireland international, 64, was appointed Ghana manager in February having already been their technical advisor for a year.

But he is under fire after Tuesday’s costly 1-0 World Cup qualifying defeat to Comoros that leaves Ghana second bottom of their group.

It was only Hughton’s first competitive defeat but Black Stars fans vented on social media, with some calling for the axe before the Africa Cup of Nations in January.

“The problem is not the coach, but rather a lack of teamwork. He should not be fired, but must be given a long-term contract,” said ex-Ghana women’s boss Bashir Hayford.

Chris Hughton
Chris Hughton

Steve Bruce, the former Manchester United defender and Newcastle United manager, yesterday became the first potential candidate to signal their interest.

Bruce is a longshot and highly unlikely to land the job but said: “I'm open to anything as I miss the game. International management would appeal to me at my age.

“But I find speculation disrespectful while a manager is in place. Once the manager position is free, then they can give me a call.

“I'm looking to get back into football, whether that's an international job, a director of football, an assistant to an up-and-coming manager, or a consultation role.”

But Ireland legend Richard Dunne wants his former Boys in Green team-mate Lee Carsley to succeed Kenny.

Carsley won 40 caps between 1997 and 2008 and managed England’s U21s to European Championship glory in July.

Lee Carsley, England U21 manager.
Lee Carsley, England U21 manager.

Dunne said: “Carsley is doing very well with England but if Ireland could tempt him away, he's someone who can get the best out of what he's got.

"With the Under-21s he always has to chop and change his squad, be adaptable - and that's a skill the next Ireland manager will certainly need."

Dunne told LiveScore: "Over Stephen Kenny's reign as manager, we've gone backwards. We've not won games.

"Kenny stuck too much to his guns, his philosophy. We've become almost easy to play against and it's been tough to watch.”

Dunne added: “Do we need to play beautiful football or do we need to qualify?

“For me it's always about the results and qualification - and supporting the Irish identity, playing with intensity and aggression.”

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