Sunderland’s O’Shea has full confidence in Rep of Ireland’s dream duo

Republic of Ireland's John O'Shea celebrates with team-mates.
Republic of Ireland's John O'Shea celebrates with team-mates.
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JOHN O’SHEA is confident that former Sunderland managers Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane can form a harmonious relationship for the Republic of Ireland.

New Ireland boss O’Neill and assistant Keane will take charge for the first time in next Friday’s friendly against Latvia after the pair penned two-year deals earlier this week.

Black Cats skipper and Ireland defender O’Shea worked under O’Neill at the Stadium of Light before he was sacked in March, and alongside Keane during their playing days together at Manchester United.

And the 32-year-old believes the pair - who have worked together as pundits for ITV - will prove an effective managerial double-act.

“I enjoyed working with Martin,” said O’Shea.

“He would be fairly confident he would have kept us up as well, but that was one of things that happens in football and he has a chance now.

“As he said on the telly a chance to manage the country does not pop round that often so he will be looking forward to that and be energised again and hopefully that will be transmitted to the players.

“He looked lifted on the TV. He would have approached Roy and spoken to him and knowing the team he has – and I don’t know exactly who he is bringing over – but knowing the characters they are, they will have talked together and that will have lifted him.

“As well as the knowledge and characters they are, they are two very funny guys as well and they have that determination to succeed and if they can bring that into the squad we will be going in the right direction.”

O’Shea and Sunderland team-mate Keiren Westwood are due to report for international duty on Monday.

Before then, the centre-half will hope to steer Sunderland to a third successive Stadium of Light victory when Manchester City visit tomorrow.

City have netted 12 goals in their last two games, while Sunderland failed to build on their derby victory with defeat at Hull City last Saturday, albeit they triumphed in the Capital One Cup against Southampton in midweek.

But O’Shea has been encouraged by Sunderland’s home form this season and believes the Black Cats can pull off another upset against City after winning the last three meetings between the sides on Wearside.

O’Shea added: “It can be done. In the last couple of games, they have scored a few goals and looked like they are going to be title contenders.

“It will be interesting if they make one or two changes again, but on the day we will see what happens

“We have won our last two homes games, although it was obviously disappointing at Hull.

“But we can take credit for the second half where we clung on and kept it at 1-0 and could have nicked a draw at the end with Jonno’s (Adam Johnson) chance.

“We are going into a game where we need the points and City will be thinking the same if they want to win the league and we want points to stay in the league.

“It is so vital we start climbing the table and we were hoping to get something at Hull, we didn’t and you move on to the game.

“We have played quite well at home, if you think of the Liverpool and Man United games in particular, we should have been two or three up on United at half-time and we know that.

“We are not playing too badly and beating Newcastle as well, you’d take that and beating Southampton.”