Monday, May 27, 2024

O’Shea suggests Ireland players want a boss who ‘understands Irish football’

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DARA O’SHEA has fired a shot across the FAI’s bows by saying the players want a manager who ‘understands Irish football’.

John O’Shea is due to finish up as interim manager after Tuesday’s friendly against Switzerland, following an encouraging draw against Belgium on Saturday.

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Dara O’Shea suggested that Republic of Ireland need a manager that knows Irish football
Republic of Ireland interim head coach John O'Shea is expected to finish his stint as boss. against Switzerland

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Republic of Ireland interim head coach John O’Shea is expected to finish his stint as boss. against Switzerland

Stephen Kenny’s full-time successor will be unveiled next month with all the indications that he will be overseas.

But the Burnley defender suggested that the Association should be looking closer to home and that his namesake – who has never previously been a head coach – fits the bill.

O’Shea said: “I think us as a group, we just want somebody who understands Irish football and who knows what it is.

“The manager here has probably the best experience in that sense.

“He has played so many times for this country and has worked under great managers, great Irish managers too, so there is a lot to take from that as well.

“We are quite a young group and we want to learn, so we want someone who is going to teach us, bring us along the way. Hopefully there is a lot of good that can come from this group in the future.

“We just want to play for our country and do the best we can and it’s not our decision who the manager is, so we have to crack on with that.

“We are all Irish, we all understand what it is to be Irish and how special it is.

“We are extremely lucky to have the opportunity to represent this country and to have the opportunity to have someone who understands that feeling as well.

“I think that’s massive. And someone that the fans can resonate with too. You want to have that backing and support from the country and as Irish fans, I’m an Irish fan myself, I’d want that too.”

The 118-times capped Waterford man has been tipped to have a role in the new regime, as he had for the final year of Kenny’s reign.

He said, as far as he was concerned, nothing had changed in terms of someone else being appointed and admitted it would be tough to step aside.

O’Shea said: “I wouldn’t be really OK with it, no, but that’s my full focus on the two games, that was my idea right from the start but when you get a taste of it you really enjoy it.

“Why wouldn’t you want more of it?

“This experience has only enhanced what I’d always been planning, what I’ve always wanted.

“There could be a discussion about any scenario going forward but I know what I signed up for at the start and whatever happens after the Switzerland game will happen.”

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