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12th Jun 2024

James McClean slams FAI for ‘farce’ of management search

Callum Boyle

James McClean FAI

The FAI are still yet to find a permanent replacement for Stephen Kenny

James McClean has doubled down on his criticism of the FAI as the wait to appoint a permanent manager goes on.

John O’Shea is in charge of the national team on an interim basis and was in the dugout for a fourth time on Tuesday as Ireland were beaten by Portugal 3-0.

O’Shea was brought in on a temporary basis after Stephen Kenny left his role in November.

While names have been linked there has been no sign of a replacement being found and McClean once again hit out at how long it is taking to appoint a permanent manager.

Speaking on RTÉ’s coverage of Tuesday’s defeat he said: “We’re nearly a year into the process and we still don’t have a manager. It’s a bit of a farce in that sense, and I think John has done his chances no harm whatsoever.

“Each week there’s a new name mentioned, this person’s been interviewed. I’d like to be a fly on the wall to see what’s going on in these interviews. For people to keep turning it down, it begs the question; what’s actually going on?

“I think the FAI need to make a decision, it’s doing John, the players and the fans no favours. Just make a decision and then we can get on with things.”

Wrexham star touts O’Shea for permanent role

While discussing the list of names that could take on the role McClean suggested that appointing O’Shea on a permanent basis shouldn’t be ruled out and that his lack of wider experience in management shouldn’t count against him in the selection process.

“I’m not saying John is Pep Guardiola but if you look at the time, [Pep] Guardiola had no experience when he got the Barcelona job,” the 35-year-old stated.

“He had a year or two with the Barcelona B team. you don’t know until he’s [O’Shea] in that [full-time] role and he’s done OK so far.

“You’ve nothing to lose [by appointing O’Shea]. People get fixated on, “he hasn’t got the experience” – how do you get experience? You get experience by being in the role.

“We’ve always been hard to beat – that’s always been our foundation. I’ve always been kind of old-school mentality, I just wanted to win games – I didn’t care how we won games as long as we won. We were quite successful in the past in doing it that way.”

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