John O’Shea: ‘I’m more than ready and capable to be a manager’

Interim Ireland boss refuses to take his hat out of the ring to become Stephen Kenny’s permanent successor

John O’Shea says he is ready to become a full-time head coach after his last game as Ireland’s interim manager.

After presiding over a narrow defeat to Switzerland on Tuesday night, O’Shea was asked to confirm if he would be take his hat out of the ring to be named the permanent successor to Stephen Kenny.

He refused to do so.

“As I’ve mentioned before, it’s only given me a taste for more, whether that be with Ireland or with club football or wherever the case may be,” said the Waterford native.


“This is an answer I was giving five, six years ago in terms of the chance to become a manager. That’s what I was planning to do in terms of having that process of learning, having assistant roles and then taking a managerial role.

“Look, it’s obviously something I’ve loved every minute of, I’ve been fully engrossed in it as I mentioned, it’s just annoying that we didn’t get a win in any of the two games.”

When pushed further, O’Shea stated his belief that he is ready to take on a permanent promotion having served as an assistant with both Ireland and Birmingham City in recent years.

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

“I think that’s something that we will obviously discuss later on. 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 it more.

“And look, the emphatic answer from me would be, yes. But where that is, let’s wait and see.”

Of the result, decided by a first-half free-kick from former Liverpool man Xherdan Shaqiri, O’Shea said that Switzerland were “much the better outfit” in the first 30 minutes of the contest, but that he was happy with the improved performance, particularly in the second half.

“What we spoke about at half-time and what we saw in the second half was really pleasing to see,” he said. “It was that attitude and commitment and quality to cause Switzerland problems which we wanted to see in that second half, we did that.

“The changes we made I was happy with in terms of their intensity and their attitude towards it, having that intent to cause Switzerland problems.”

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns is an Irish Times journalist