Home » ‘Let’s wait and see’ – Ireland interim boss John O’Shea insists focus is solely on Switzerland

‘Let’s wait and see’ – Ireland interim boss John O’Shea insists focus is solely on Switzerland

‘Let’s wait and see’ – Ireland interim boss John O’Shea insists focus is solely on Switzerland

The former Manchester United defender also dodged a question about passing the baton to the next boss as well as the advice he would offer the FAI’s chosen one.

O’Shea was appointed as interim boss for this month’s double-header with FAI director of football Marc Canham confirming three weeks ago that Stephen Kenny’s successor will be announced in early April.

Today’s Sport News in 90 Seconds – 25th March

But O’Shea has said before that he would be open to the permanent job if offered and speaking ahead of tomorrow night’s Lansdowne Road clash, speculation remains as to whether he will be offered the hot seat on a permanent basis after a solid display in Saturday’s scoreless draw with Belgium.

“My remit was to focus on these two games. If my remit beforehand was, ‘John you’re the full-time new manager’, it might have been a different situation,” said O’Shea.

“The focus for me was, ‘these two games John, look after these games and see what happens then’,” said the Waterford native FAI HQ this morning.

O’Shea also reported no injury concerns ahead of tomorrow’s friendly against the Swiss, ranked 19th in the world.

“I am focusing on the last game against Switzerland, my focus has been on that right from the start when this process started,” he said.

“Two games, I am focused on that, get the best from the boys, bring this group together with the staff, getting the lads to know my staff as quickly as possible, and getting the bond together quickly, going into two games where you know you’ll face challenges, but two games where you know you can get good results too.”

After this window, the former Ireland centurion says he’ll return home to his wife and children but football-wise, added that a few things will happen.

“Yeah, there has to come a point,” replied O’Shea, when asked if he felt ready to step up to full-time management.

“That’s why I went about it this way, in terms of getting that experience under my belt with different managers and different ideas and then ultimately take the chance to do it myself.

“As I’ve always said, every scenario presents a different picture, presents a different opportunity and whatever happens next will happen.

“In football, let’s wait and see,” said the former Manchester United man.

“Hopefully there will be a few things happening, but hopefully I will be going back for Easter holidays with my kids, so we’ll do something with them.

“Get back into the swing of things with them and hopefully go to watch games and have a few conversations here and there.”

After working for three years in Jim Crawford’s Under-21 backroom staff before stepping up to Stephen Kenny’s senior set-up last year, as well as club stints at Reading, Stoke City and Birmingham since hanging up his boots, O’Shea was asked if anything in his current role – his first managing any side – had come as a surprise.

“I wouldn’t say surprised me as such, working in football since I finished playing in terms of planning and hoping that I get the chance to manage some day,” he said.

“My idea from the start was to learn the ropes, in terms of being an assistant to different coaches and hopefully then eventually getting the chance to lead a team myself.

“It’s just a different challenge. Obviously you’re the one to make the decision on the XI, and the squad to pick, what way we are going to go about it, with the advice of a very good support network around you.”

The likes of Lyon’s Jake O’Brien and Middlesbrough’s Finn Azaz will hope to make their senior debuts at the Aviva tomorrow, while Joe Hodge and Andy Moran have stepped up from the U21s and trained with O’Shea’s side yesterday.

“Like all the lads training today they’ll have a very good opportunity of making their debuts, but we’ll be assessing that after training, and making sure all the bodies, those with a bit of tightness, come through the training. We’ll see what happens with the selection after that,” O’Shea said.