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John O’Shea ready to be a manager after Republic of Ireland interim spell

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 26 Mar 2024

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John O’Shea insists he is “more than ready” for management despite his spell as interim Republic of Ireland boss ending in disappointment.

The former Manchester United and Ireland defender, placed in charge for this month’s friendly double-header against Belgium and Switzerland, saw his side go down 1-0 to the Swiss on Tuesday evening after Saturday’s 0-0 draw against the Belgians.

Football Association of Ireland chiefs have indicated they will name Stephen Kenny’s successor early next month with O’Shea having attracted popular support over the last week or so.

Asked what his instinct is on his own future, he said: “My instinct would be that I’m more than ready and capable to be a manager.”

O’Shea has vast experience of international football as a player – he was capped 118 times for Ireland – and has worked as a coach with both the Under-21s and the senior squad under Kenny as well as holding club roles with Reading, Stoke and Birmingham.

Asked if he would seek clarity from the FAI over his chances of being considered for the vacancy, the 42-year-old replied: “I think that’s something that we will obviously discuss later on.

“For me, the full focus was on the two games, enjoy the moment, learn from it and really understand it, learn about myself in terms of how I cope with the situation, with the games, and learn do I want to do it more.

“And look, the emphatic answer from me would be, yes. But where that is, let’s wait and see.

“As I’ve mentioned before, it’s only given me a taste for more, whether that be with Ireland or with club football or whatever the case may be.

“It’s something I’ve loved every minute of and I’ve been fully engrossed with it. It’s just annoying that we didn’t get a win in either of the two games.”

O’Shea’s second game at the helm proved more frustrating than the first as Ireland largely played second fiddle to a side ranked 43 places above them.

It was ultimately settled by Xherdan Shaqiri’s expertly-dispatched 23rd-minute free-kick, but Euro 2024-bound Switzerland were superior for much of the game – skipper Granit Xhaka rattled the post after pouncing on a first-half error by keeper Gavin Bazunu – and ran out deserved winners.

Ireland mounted a late fightback after struggling to create meaningful opportunities until the closing stages, but even then, lacked the precision to convert the pressure into genuine chances.

O’Shea said: “Look, like I spoke to the players about beforehand and beforehand against Belgium too, that’s the level you want to be competing at to qualify for major tournaments.

“Belgium and Switzerland qualify for major tournaments year after year after year, so you have to compete, you have to be clinical and we weren’t clinical enough in the two games.

“That’s something obviously we have to really nail down in terms of taking chances, making that decision in terms of controlling it, the right pass, the right time and being really clinical and getting back to winning games again.”

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