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Liga MX
By ESPN Staff

Ireland sack Staunton after Euro failure

The Football Association of Ireland will appoint an outside adviser to help them head-hunt a successor to Steve Staunton, whose contract was terminated by mutual consent this morning.

The FAI held an emergency board meeting starting last night with confirmation of Staunton's departure coming in the early hours after the team's failure to qualify for next summer's European Championships.

Under-21 boss Don Givens will be in temporary charge of the team for the final Euro 2008 qualifier away to Wales next month, but the FAI will now move to get outside help in finding Staunton's permanent replacement.

An FAI statement said: 'The FAI board will now seek to appoint an outside adviser from within the football industry to assist them in the recruitment of a successor.

'The board will select people with considerable football experience in the professional game to appoint the new manager.'

The association expressed their 'disappointment' that the appointment of Staunton - who had no previous managerial experience - had not worked out.

Association president David Blood thanked Staunton and his staff for their efforts and said: 'They have brought through many young players and leave behind a squad with strong development potential.'

Blood added: 'As a member of the three-man committee which made the recommendation to appoint Stephen and his team, I am disappointed that things have not worked out the way I, Stephen or my colleagues on the board expected.'

The FAI board will meet again in a week or a week and a half to draw up a shortlist of names for the advisory roles.

With the team in another transitional stage following their failure to reach last year's World Cup finals, it was Staunton's understanding a main feature of his brief was to discover and nurture a promising set of youngsters for future squads and that his job was safe even bearing in mind the qualification failure.

He still had more than two years to go on his contract, which would present the hard-up FAI with a huge compensation issue.

Former Republic boss Mick McCarthy, who guided the Republic to the 2002 World Cup and both captained and managed Staunton during the latter's playing career, had earlier hit out at the criticism of the former Liverpool defender.

The Wolves manager told Sky Sports News: 'He was given a four-year contract and they knew it was a developing squad, and I don't think they expected to qualify.

'They made their decision and I'm not here to decide one way or the other.

'Stan' is a real good pal of mine. He was wonderful for me as a player and captain.'

The desperately disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Cyprus last week represented a new low in Staunton's tenure but McCarthy said: 'I felt for him, watching him on the side of the pitch against Cyprus. I've been there when it's not going right and it's tough.

'They had the confidence in him to give him a four-year contract, and if they don't want to pursue it let them deal with it.

'I hope he's all right. I spoke to him and he still wants to do it. He's confident he's doing the right thing. Good luck to him because he's a great guy.'

Former Leeds and Aston Villa boss David O'Leary has emerged as the early 7-4 favourite to succeed Staunton with bookmaker William Hill.

Finland coach Roy Hodgson is 7-1, while former Liverpool, Rangers and Newcastle boss Graeme Souness is 8-1.