Stephen Bradley: 'O'Shea should be in Ireland frame if March friendlies go well

Stephen Bradley: 'O'Shea should be in Ireland frame if March friendlies go well

Shamrock Rovers boss Stephen Bradley has claimed that John O'Shea should be a strong contender for the full-time Ireland gig if the friendlies against Belgium and Switzerland next month go well.

O'Shea, a former Manchester United and Ireland player, was installed as the interim Ireland boss as the FAI searches for a full-time manager. The search for a new boss has been ongoing since November, with no conclusion yet, prompting the FAI to install O'Shea on a caretaker basis.

Footballing Director Marc Canham said that the organisation plans to bring someone in April and that it is nearly at the end of the process. "We are also pleased to confirm that the process for the appointment of a new men’s head coach is near completion, and we are looking forward to announcing that appointment in April. For now, the focus is on the upcoming matches against Belgium and Switzerland at the Aviva Stadium and supporting John and his team as they prepare for the games."

However, Bradley of Shamrock Rovers believes that O'Shea should be part of the FAI's consideration if he does succeed in Ireland's next two games on March 23 and 26

“Like every football player in the country, I want them to be successful and do well, and I wish them both nothing but success. I hope they go in and do their business and get the job long-term, and we all get behind them and support them. They can only do what's in front of them, and what's in front of them is a difficult game," he said. 

"But if they win them both or do well in both, why shouldn't they be in the frame for it? They (FAI) obviously see them as a good fit to take the team, so what would change for the long term? Both are young coaches. I know John hasn't managed before, but he has experience in terms of playing.

There is no guarantee that O'Shea will take or want the job, but Bradley, who started his Rovers tenure as caretaker himself, believes that circumstances can change quite quickly.

Bradley added, “A lot of managers get jobs on the back of doing well in interim roles. There’s nothing like a senior Irish team doing well to give the country a buzz, and it creates a hype like no other sport can create. We all want that. The decision is made, and some people will agree with it, and some people will disagree with it, but that's football and opinions, and everyone is allowed to have one.

"I think we have to support John and Paddy and their staff and players because we all want Ireland to be successful, and let's hope they can be. It's a difficult ask considering they’re only in, but there’s a good group of players to work with, and if they do well, then why not give them that support?”