Former Republic of Ireland duo Jason McAteer and Steve Staunton have backed Martin O'Neill to replace Giovanni Trapattoni.

The pair have given their backing to the former Celtic, Aston Villa and Sunderland boss following Trapattoni's departure.

The Italian was sacked after Ireland's 1-0 defeat in Austria left their hopes of qualifying for next summer's World Cup all but over.

Staunton, who himself managed Ireland between 2006 and 2007, was speaking to Sky Sports when he said: "He's managed Celtic for five years and done really well up there, and at other clubs he's done really well, so that wouldn't be a bad choice. Who knows what the FAI have in mind, but Martin would be up there high on the list.

"He's got more experience than anybody out there so it wouldn't be a bad shout."

McAteer, like Staunton, was part of the Irish team that traveled to Japan and South Korea in 2002 and it was his goal against Holland that sealed qualification.

He told Sky Sports, "Martin O'Neill, with his man management skills, would be an ideal candidate." 

Trappatoni had been in charge of Ireland since taking the helm in 2008 and guided them to Euro 2012 qualification, however, McAteer feels the time is right for a new man to take over, he said, "Two poor results cost them qualification and it was time to move on.

"There are some good players coming through. It's important to get the right man now to bring those players through."

O'Neill represented Northern Ireland 64 times during his playing career but has been out of work since being replaced by Paolo Di Canio as Sunderland manager in March 2013.

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