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Fresh twist in hunt for Ireland manager as FAI set to further push back decision

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THE FAI are set to delay a decision on who will be the next permanent Ireland manager until the middle of April.

The Association had previously insisted that an announcement would be made early this month and that ‘contractual obligations’ meant it could not come sooner.

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John O’Shea’s appointment would divide fans if it was made
Gus Poyet has had his own mini-saga surrounding the Ireland job

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Gus Poyet has had his own mini-saga surrounding the Ireland jobCredit: Sportsfile
Roy Keane had his odds slashed to land the role

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Roy Keane had his odds slashed to land the roleCredit: @skysportsfootball

The rumoured thinking behind the push-back is that they don’t want the upcoming WNT Euro qualifiers to be overshadowed by the news.

Eileen Gleeson’s side take on France this Friday, followed by an Aviva Stadium clash with England on Tuesday.

There has been no official announcement by the FAI over the exact date they plan to appoint the new boss.

It has now been nearly six months since Stephen Kenny left the role and there is still no clear indication of who is replacement might be.

For a large chunk of the search process, it was widely understood that Lee Carsley was the FAI’s number one choice.

However, their plan quickly unravelled after Carsley took himself out of the running and decided to focus on the England Under-21s.

Many names have been tossed about since – with Roy Keane being reported as to having meetings with the Association on three occasions.

Gus Poyet was made favourite to get the role after Greece lost on penalties to Georgia – who are managed by another candidate Willy Sagnol – in their Euro 2024 play-off.

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Poyet’s candidacy created its own mini-saga last week when Greek media reported that he had turned down a five-year contract at the Aviva Stadium.

This was then twisted back on its head when Poyet posted a social media statement on Monday evening that suggested him staying on is far from a done deal.

Premier League icon crops up at League of Ireland ground – and calls for John O’Shea to be made Ireland manager

The 56-year-old said: “After a fantastic two years, the coaching staff and I have reached, yesterday, the end of our contracts.

“I do not know what will happen, but if this were to be the end of our journey together, I can’t leave without sharing my gratitude.

“Working and representing the Greek national team has been an absolute honour and pleasure…

“Who knows what the future will hold, if we keep going together or not, but one thing is certain – I will forever be a supporter of Greece.”

John O’Shea remains very much in the running for the role which may divide fans based off his two interim games in charge.

The 0-0 draw with Belgium showed signs of promise that had pundits, such as Rio Ferdinand, calling for him to get the job.

However, the following 1-0 defeat to Switzerland threw more doubt in fans’ minds as Ireland displayed another drab goalless performance that we have all gotten used to in recent years.

Whatever happens in the next few weeks – an appointment is never certain until it is made.

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