John O’Shea appointed interim Republic of Ireland manager


John O'Shea Credit: Michael P Ryan (ETPhotos)

The former Manchester United player will take the reins for the upcoming games in March. 

John O'Shea has been appointed interim Republic of Ireland manager for the two friendly international matches against Belgium and Switzerland in March.

O'Shea, who won 118 caps for Ireland and is third on the all-time list of appearances. 

The former Republic of Ireland defender was a member of the previous management team, as assistant coach to Stephen Kenny. He also worked as the Under-21 assistant manager to Jim Crawford.

Crystal Palace assistant coach Paddy McCarthy has also joined the temporary set up to assist John O’Shea for the friendly matches. 

"I'm delighted to return to the senior men's coaching staff as interim head coach for the two international friendlies,” said O’Shea on being made interim manager of the national team. 

"It will be an incredible honour to lead the side into the March international window. As everyone will know, I've always had immense pride representing my country, whether that be during my playing career or very recently, as part of the coaching staff for the men's senior team and the Under-21s.

"It’s great that Paddy has agreed to come on board for the two matches and work will begin straight away to prepare for two top-quality fixtures against great opposition in Belgium and Switzerland, in front of our fantastic home support.

"I've got great belief in this group of players to win football matches and looking forward to some positive results."

The FAI in their search for Stephen Kenny’s replacement have reportedly made Lee Carsley their number one target since the begininning of the process but talks between the two parties have stalled.

Former Republic of Ireland players and managers such as Brian Kerr, Shay Given, and Jason McAteer have all stated the former Everton midfielder will not take up the role despite the associations best efforts. 

However, the FAI director of football Marc Canham said there will be a full-time appointment after these two games.

He explained: "We're delighted to announce John and Paddy as interim head coach and assistant coach for the March fixtures.

"John has developed a strong level of excellent coaching experience across both domestic and international football and has recently been involved at both U-21 and senior level with Ireland alongside his considerable achievements as an international player and in his club career.

"We are also pleased to confirm that the process for the appointment of a new men's head coach is near completion and we are looking forward to announce that appointment in April.

"For now, the focus is on the upcoming matches against Belgium and Switzerland at the Aviva Stadium and supporting John and his team as they prepare for the games."

Elsewhere, Republic of Ireland’s women’s manager Eileen Gleeson rues errors made by her side in the defeat to Wales on Tuesday night.