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FAI apologises as manager search goes to September

FAI Director of Football Marc Canham has apologised to Republic of Ireland supporters for the delay in appointing a new manager to the men’s senior team as he revealed that he does not expect an appointment until September now.

The FAI are now hoping to extend interim manager John O’Shea’s spell in charge, but Canham admitted that they have yet to reach an agreement with the former Manchester United player to take charge for June’s two international friendlies.

The process of replacing Stephen Kenny, who departed in November, had already been a prolonged one with the FAI promising that the job would be filled on a permanent basis in early April.

With that self-imposed deadline having now passed and the FAI still seemingly far away from an appointment, unrest among supporters is growing.

England Under-21 manager Lee Carsley was believed to have been the FAI’s main target but he ruled himself out of the running. Neil Lennon, Chris Coleman, Chris Hughton and Gus Poyet have all be linked at various times without a conclusion.

Speaking to their own in-house social media channel, Canham said: “The update today is that the process is not concluded and will remain on-going.

“We recognise and realise that is not necessarily the news that people wanted to hear today and they may be disappointed to hear. We’re absolutely committed and determined to find the best person for our men’s national team and for Irish football and that will continue to be our aim.”

Ireland will take on Hungary and Portugal in June and Canham confirmed that there will no appointment in time for those games and that the new target is for September when the Nations League campaign begins against England.

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

“We recognise that the timelines and deadlines that we’ve set have 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 and just commit to find the best person and to take as long as that should take and that’s our aim.

“We recognise and apologise for that but we are also confident that ultimately we believe this process will result in us finding the best person for the job.”

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