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John O'Shea has fulfilled the role as interim manager, serving for two international friendlies. Dan Sheridan/INPHO

John O'Shea after interim job: 'I’m more than ready and capable to be a manager'

O’Shea is set to step aside for the incoming Irish boss next month.

JOHN O’SHEA MAY not be the next Ireland manager but he believes this week in interim charge has proven to himself he is ready to take a top job somewhere. 

While there is a lot of speculation that O’Shea will end up being appointed to the Irish job on a permanent basis, senior FAI sources continue to insist he is an interim appointment only, and Stephen Kenny’s permanent successor will be announced next month. 

O’Shea has remained coy on his future throughout this international window, looking no further than today’s game against Switzerland. 

After what proved to be a 1-0 defeat, O’Shea said he is ready to step up to be a number one, though again declined to give any hint as to whether it would be with Ireland or not. 

“I think that’s something that we will obviously discuss later on”, said O’Shea. “But for me the full focus was on the two games, enjoy the moment in terms of 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.

“My instinct would be that I’m more than ready and capable to be a manager.”

As for the game itself, Ireland fell behind midway through the first half to Xherdan Shaqiri’s free-quick, and in spite of dominating possession in the second half against a Swiss side happy with a one-goal lead, they struggled to create any clear-cut chances. 

“From the first half an hour you’d say Switzerland were much the better outfit, in terms of their control of the game and we were caught where we didn’t want to be, in terms of the half-spaces and how we wanted to be aggressive towards them. We did that towards the end of the first half and what we spoke about at half-time and what we saw in the second half was really pleasing to see. It was that attitude and commitment and quality to cause Switzerland problems in the second half, and we did that. 

O’Shea didn’t agree their lack of chances was because of a lack of quality in the Irish team. 

“You could see the areas we were getting into, it’s a little bit of composure at the right time: to find the right pass, the decision making in terms of can you slip your mate in, can you work it onto the right side, can you control it? That was the frustrating bit. But as I mentioned, you hold your hands up to Switzerland, they were really dominant in that first 30 minutes. They were dominant and aggressive and we had to stand up to that. We did, you think of the goal they scored it was frustrating too. We can defend the free-kick better, it was well-worked from them too, but we’d be hopeful of stopping that too.”

Written by Gavin Cooney at the Aviva Stadium.

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