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John O’Shea calls for 'clarity' over Republic of Ireland role as interim boss remains in charge

Interim Republic of Ireland boss John O’Shea is hoping for clarity over his future this month after stepping into the breach for a second time.

The former Manchester United and Ireland defender will send his team into friendly battle with Hungary in Dublin on Tuesday evening and Portugal in Aveiro next week having emerged as a genuine contender in the search for Stephen Kenny’s successor, which is now in its seventh month.

Football Association of Ireland chiefs, who abandoned their plan to appoint a replacement in April, have vowed that the new man will be in place ahead of September’s Nations League opener against England.

However, asked on the eve of the Hungary game whether he expects clarity on his situation before the end of the current international window, O’Shea told a press conference: “Let’s hope so. I think everyone, including myself, the staff, the players, everyone would like clarity on it.”

O’Shea had effectively been dismissed as a candidate when the FAI asked him to take charge of March’s friendlies against Belgium and Switzerland.

But with the likes of England Under-21s boss Lee Carsley, Greece head coach Gus Poyet and former Wales manager Chris Coleman having distanced themselves from a vacancy with which Neil Lennon, Chris Hughton and Willy Sagnol have also been linked, his stock has risen sharply, particularly after a positive response to the work he did in the last camp.

The 118-times-capped Ireland defender has made no secret of his interest in the post, but in the absence of substantive discussions, has concentrated simply on the task of preparing his players for the upcoming fixtures.

The Republic have won only one of the last eight games they have played, last October’s regulation 4-0 Euro 2024 qualifier victory over Gibraltar in Faro, and Hungary, who are bound for the finals in Germany later this month, are unbeaten in 14.

O’Shea said: “Whatever game we come into, I’m always looking for good results. Belgium at home, we wanted to win; against Switzerland at home, we wanted to win, and it is the same.

“We want to beat Hungary, we want to get the Irish team winning again, it’s as simple as that, get the mindset right in terms of winning the games, at home especially.

“That’s the big thing for me. We’ve got to get winning matches.

“They have qualified for the Euros and the mixture in their squad in terms of younger talented players – some in the Premier League that we would know about, and different players around Europe – and also the run of form that they are on, the teams they have faced…

“We know it’s a good test for us, a really good test for us and one the players and the staff are looking forward to.”

Already without regular starters Gavin Bazunu, Nathan Collins, Evan Ferguson and Chiedozie Ogbene, O’Shea has lost Nottingham Forest defender Andrew Omobamidele to a hamstring injury sustained in training and has added Under-21 international Bosun Lawal, who had been training with the seniors, to the squad.

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