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FAI confirm new deadline for Ireland manager is September for England showdown

In a four minute interview released through FAITV, director of football Marc Canham apologised for the ‘expectation’ and ‘confusion’ created by previous statements, and accepted that the FAI might have gone about their search differently if they had another go at it.

But in simple terms, he stated that Abbotstown chiefs have now opted to place an interim team in charge for June’s fixtures with Hungary and Portugal – they want John O’Shea to assume the role again – while they take more time to find the right man.

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“Realistically we are looking towards the UEFA Nations League with our first game against England in September, that’s what we are aiming to do,” said Canham.

“We recognise the timelines and deadlines we’ve previously set created a sense of expectation and potentially confusion for everyone. In hindsight, we would maybe not set those deadlines if we were to do this again. We recognise and apologise for that but we are also confident that ultimately this process will result in us finding the best person for the job

“We understand we had a massive responsibility to appoint the right person. That’s why we are taking our time and not rushing into making an appointment. We want to make sure we get that person in place but we do recognise the frustration people will have around that.”

Today’s Sport News in 90 Seconds – 19th April

When pressed on the reason for the hold-up, Canham only made a passing reference to the ‘existing contractual obligations’ that he referenced when O’Shea was unveiled as temporary stand-in back in March. At that juncture, Canham had given the impression that the end of the process was near and that an unidentified individual was coming on board in April.

He suggested that finding a person to fit the criteria had been a difficulty, while also implying that there are some those contractual arrangements remain active and have not expired. Speculation around Gus Poyet, Willy Sagnol and the Euro 2024 playoff between Greece and Georgia has not gone away but the nature of the in-house production meant there was no scope for follow-up enquiries.

“A number of reasons,” said Canham, with response to the delay. “One is around the criteria that we’re looking for, in terms of the type of coach, the head coach will be clearly one who comes in and improves the team and makes us competitive. We want a coach that has a good mix of club and international experience, and we are very clear on the vision we want to achieve

“The second point is around conditions, we spoke to a number of coaches who are available but also with contractual arrangements that were already existing and the third point is around the competitiveness of the market.

“We are looking for the right coach who is the right fit with the right timing for that person and for us.

“All those reasons just meant we were not able to conclude process at this point and we’ll continue to search to try and find the best person for the job.”

More to follow…

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