Brian McDermott on the Republic of Ireland job and his future at Elland Road...
Brian McDermott has committed himself to Leeds United despite being a main contender for the vacant Republic of Ireland managerial post.
The United boss was second favourite for the post, following Giovanni Trapattoni’s departure in the wake of Ireland’s 1-0 defeat in Austria on Tuesday, and FAI chief John Delaney named him publicly as “a contender” for the post.
The boss says he is proud to have been linked with the post and admits he would love to manage the Republic of Ireland one day – but he reaffirmed his commitment to his post at Leeds United.
“My reaction was immense pride,” said the boss. “I was looking at the Sky Bet odds last night and Martin O’Neill was top and I was second, and if you consider I have been a manager at this level for four and a bit years to see that gave me nothing but pride. It must mean I’m doing something right which is good.
“Everybody knows what I feel about Ireland, my family , my history, and how important it is to me.
“My situation is that one day I want to manage the Republic of Ireland, but at this moment in time I’m at a fantastic football club . I’ve kind of been adopted here and I feel I owe this club and these supporters, and that’s really important to me. I’m committed. 100 per cent.
“I would regard Leeds United as a very big club. Now, some big clubs spend very big money and if you look at the clubs in the Premier League, they spend £50m on transfers. We can’t do that but we can find a way to make us successful.
“What’s important to me is that one day we become successful at Leeds United and one day if I ever get the opportunity, and it’s been something of a privilege this past day or so seeing my name linked, that (Ireland manager) would be a job I really want to do, but at this moment I won’t be leaving Leeds United for anyone. In years to come if Leeds United get fed up of me that might be the case, and if I ever get that opportunity then I would love to take it.
“I want to be successful at Leeds United. These fans deserve it. We’ve got 5,000 going to Bolton on Saturday. When I go to Dublin there’s so many Leeds United you just cannot believe it, and if you ask them if they wanted their manager to leave to go to the Republic of Ireland I’m not sure what their answer would be.
“If I can be successful with Leeds…and it’s not an overnight thing, there’s no quick fix. I think what we’ve had over the years have been constant quick fixes, different managers, and it’s a time now in my opinion for stability to try and move the club forward and build it slowly.
“We’re not where we want to be yet, but we have fantastic spirit in our dressing room and we have fantastic spirit among the fans and the staff. There’s such a good feeling. There’s a unity , and that’s so important whatever the results. But the most important thing is results and that’s what we’re trying to get.”