Connect with us

Manchester United

Former Manchester United ace John O’Shea assumes interim charge of Ireland

Former Manchester United centre-back John O’Shea will be the interim manager of the Republic of Ireland team for the upcoming matches against Belgium and Switzerland.

According to Sky Sports, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has appointed the 42-year-old for March’s friendly fixtures to replace Stephen Kenny.

O’Shea worked alongside Kenny as an assistant manager. But following the nation’s underwhelming European Championship qualifying campaign, the 52-year-old’s contract was not renewed.

While awaiting the FAI’s decision over a new permanent boss, the ex-Man Utd defender will be in the dugout next to Crystal Palace coach Paddy McCarthy.

Although he’s still relatively new to management, O’Shea knows in-depth about this national team, having racked up a third-high 118 caps for his country as a player.

During his first interview as Ireland’s interim head coach (quotes via the Guardian), O’Shea admitted he harbours great hopes for the squad he inherited from Kenny despite their dismal run of four defeats across their last six internationals.

“I’ve got great belief in this group of players to win football matches and am looking forward to some positive results,” O’Shea said.

He’ll make his touchline debut when the Boys in Green take on continental powerhouse Belgium in Dublin on March 23, while his next home game comes three days later against Switzerland.

It’s still uncertain whether Ireland will consider O’Shea a potential permanent solution, but positive results in those matches would undoubtedly increase such ambitions.

Still relatively inexperienced in the field, he had a brief spell at Birmingham City during Wayne Rooney’s disappointing stint at St Andrew’s.

However, he requested to leave immediately after Rooney was sacked, all that while being part of Kenny’s coaching staff he teamed up with in February 2023.

It’s now his turn to dig Ireland out of trouble, and what better man for the job than the man who captained the country in their last appearance at a major international tournament?