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O'Shea to take charge of Ireland for March double-header
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Matthew Hill
John O'Shea has been appointed as his nation's interim head coach
John O'Shea has been appointed as his nation's interim head coach

John O'Shea will take charge of the Republic of Ireland for their March friendlies against Belgium and Switzerland.

Former Manchester United defender O'Shea, 42, was an assistant during Stephen Kenny's reign and also has previous experience working in his nation's Under-21 setup, alongside club coaching stints with Reading, Stoke and Birmingham.

His right-hand man for the double-header will be Crystal Palace coach Paddy McCarthy, who took charge of the Eagles' 1-1 draw with Everton last week following Roy Hodgson's departure from Selhurst Park.

O'Shea said: "I'm delighted to return to the senior men's coaching staff as interim head coach for the two international friendlies.

"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 Irish FA intend to appoint a permanent boss in April, with an agreement nearing completion according to FAI director of football Marc Canham.

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

"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."

During his playing days, O'Shea represented his nation on 118 occasions.


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