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John O’Shea takes interim charge of Republic of Ireland for March games



The former Manchester United defender John O’Shea will take charge of the Republic of Ireland’s March friendlies after being named as the interim head coach.

O’Shea, who had a spell as assistant to the former manager Stephen Kenny, will be supported by the Crystal Palace coach Paddy McCarthy for the games at home to Belgium and Switzerland next month. The Football Association of Ireland said it planned to name a permanent successor to Kenny in early April.

O’Shea, who is third on the Republic’s list of men’s appearance-makers with 118 caps, said: “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.”

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The Republic have been without a manager since November, when the FAI confirmed Kenny’s contract would not be renewed. O’Shea said: “I’ve got great belief in this group of players to win football matches and am looking forward to some positive results.”

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