Brian Maher says John O’Shea is ready for Ireland job on a permanent basis

The former Manchester United defender held the post on an interim level for two recent friendlies

Derry City goalkeeper Brian Maher has been called up to the Republic of Ireland's training squad by former Candystripes boss Stephen Kenny
Derry City goalkeeper Brian Maher spent a week with the Irish squad during the recent international window. Picture: Margaret McLaughlin

FORMER Republic of Ireland U21 goalkeeper Brian Maher has backed John O’Shea to become permanent Ireland manager.

O’Shea said he was keen on continuing on as boss after completing his two-game interim stint in Tuesday night’s narrow loss to Switzerland and the Derry City shot-stopper, who trained with the squad for a week, feels if he was appointed then it would be a good choice.

“John was part of our U21 coaching staff with JIm Crawford and Rennie (Alan Reynolds), so I knew what he was going to be like,” stated Maher.

“But he was very good and his staff were good as well to be fair and the boys took a real liking to them.

“You could see with the way the team was set-up against Belgium that they had done their homework and the work was done really well on the pitch.

“I think he’s ready to step up into the manager’s position and I think he’s shown that.

“He’s also got the experience of being there as a player and in terms of being around the lads he was top class. I really enjoyed working with him and his staff and I think you could see with all the interviews from all the players over the last couple of days, they also felt the same way.”

The City number one insisted he enjoyed working alongside Liverpool’s Caoimhin Kelleher, Southampton’s Gavin Bazunu and Bournemouth’s Mark Travers

“It was brilliant and obviously a great experience, being in with the squad for virtually the whole camp,” he stated.

“The training and just being around the group was really good for me and I learned a lot from it.”

The 23-year-old is now fully focused on returning to club football with the Candystripes and wants to take his international training week experience into his league form, starting with tomorrow night’s home clash with Galway United.

“I just need to refocus on what’s going to be a big game for us against Galway on Friday,” insisted the Dublin native.

“To be fair it’s a big week, where we play three games in seven days.

“I’ll be looking to try and bring what I learned with the Ireland squad, work on that and try to keep improving if I can.

“We have a massive game against Galway, who look like a really well organised team. They’ve got good players and they got promoted last year with a bit of ease and they’ve brought really quality and competitiveness to the Premier Division and I don’t think anyone is going to have an easy game against them this season.

“A lot of the games that they’ve lost in the early part of the season have been by one goal, so we need to be right and everyone needs to be ready for Friday or else we won’t get a result.”