DUBLIN, Ireland — Former Manchester United player John O'Shea was appointed interim head coach of the Ireland national team on Wednesday.

O'Shea will take charge of the upcoming friendly matches against Belgium and Switzerland in March before a new coach is hired in “early April,” the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) said.

“It will be an incredible honor to lead the side into the March international window. As everyone will know, I’ve always had immense pride representing my country," O'Shea said.

O’Shea made 118 appearances for his country as a player and had been assistant to former coach Stephen Kenny. He also worked with the Under-21s.

Kenny left his position in November after failing to qualify for this year’s European Championship.

The FAI said its search for a permanent coach was “near completion.”

Crystal Palace coach Paddy McCarthy will serve as O'Shea's assistant.

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