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Long backs O’Shea for permanent Republic of Ireland manager’s position

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In an exclusive interview with Ladbrokes Fanzone, Shane Long reveals why John O’Shea deserves his chance as Ireland manager.

John O’Shea is a great guy.

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Former Ireland ace Shane Long is backing John O’Shea to become permanent boss
John O'Shea is Republic of Ireland interim manager fro an initial two games

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John O’Shea is Republic of Ireland interim manager fro an initial two games

You know, he was a bit more experienced than me, when I came into the international set-up and he was the same with every young player.

He took you under his wing and made you feel equal. Considering what he’s achieved in the game, none of it ever went to his head.

He’s good with people, as well, so I can see why he’s been given this opportunity.

He’s been coaching for a few years now, and he’ll have obviously learned from some top, top coaches over the years:

Giovanni Trapattoni and, obviously, Sir Alex Ferguson. He’s got his badges, he’s done everything the right way and I think he deserves his chance.

I’m excited for him, to be honest, because I think he’ll take to the role really well and I’d expect him to get a reaction from the players.

It’s not a surprise for me at all, to see John stepping into management.

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When I played with him, he was always the first one he’d look at and think he’s going to go on and be a manager because he just
had that love for the game.

He treats people with respect and players respond to that.

Obviously I don’t know him as a coach; I’m sure he’s going to be very good and I’m sure he’ll have the backing of everyone in the country.

At the moment it’s only a caretaker role, and he’s got two tough games against Belgium and Switzerland to try and prove his worth.

But I think the door is open for him; if he does well, when
you consider that he knows everybody in the FAI and they know what he’s about.

If he can get things going on the pitch and get the fans back behind the team, then I don’t see why the permanent job wouldn’t be there on the table for him.

BY SHANE LONG

THE ROSSIES CAN HOLD OFF DERRY

ANOTHER busy weekend of action awaits, starting with Derry v Roscommon at 1.45pm at Celtic Park.

Derry are already in the final so a lot will depend on what team Mickey Harte puts to the field.

Roscommon manager Davy Burke and his side face Derry

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Roscommon manager Davy Burke and his side face Derry

I suspect he will rest his players to give them an extra week in preparation for the National Football League Final.

On that basis along with the fact that Roscommon are fighting for their lives, I fancy the Rossies to win this.

Monaghan v Mayo is a dead duck.

Mayo cannot be demoted and with Monaghan already demoted, it
will be about fighting for pride.

Monaghan will be disappointed to have been demoted as they put
up a huge effort against Tyrone last weekend, and I expect something similar on Sunday.

That said Mayo also put up a very good battle against Derry and the game could have gone either way coming down the stretch.

With nothing to play for, I think little will separate the sides. I fancy a draw.

On Sunday, I fancy Kerry to see off Galway, while Dublin are now the most inform team in the country and I can’t see them losing to Tyrone at Croke Park.

By Marc O’Se

NEW MANAGER BOUNCE FOR BOYS IN GREEN?

Belgium will begin their preparations for Euro 2024 when they travel to the Aviva Stadium tonight to take on the Republic of Ireland under interim manager John O’Shea.

Not the easiest task for his first gig, but there is hope, with Belgium as big as even money to take the spoils.

Domenico Tedesco's Belgium side visit Dublin tonight

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Domenico Tedesco’s Belgium side visit Dublin tonight

It may be a friendly but O’Shea will want to do everything in his power to get off on the right foot, while Belgium will want to head to Germany with confidence.

Ireland have won just two of their last nine games, both against Gibraltar, so some expected their odds to be bigger.

It’s just 9/4 the new manager bounce kicks in and the Boys In Green come out on top.

I am backing the draw at 11/5. O’Shea can breathe new life into the squad and get something from this for sure.

Furthermore, this fixture has already seen six stalemates, including 2-2 when they last met in 2022.

1-1 is my prediction here at 11/2.

England v Brazil will be a real test for the Three Lions’ credentials.

Luckily for them, the South American giants come to Wembley in poor form so Gareth Southgate’s men should hold onto their
tag as the Euro 2024 favourites.

They’re 5/6 to win in 90 minutes.

By Nicola McGeady

*To read all the above in full blog go to sports.ladbrokes. com/news

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