independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

King proud to get Republic reins

Noel King wants Ireland's campaign to end on a positive note

Noel King has revealed his pride at being asked to take over as interim Ireland boss.

The Dubliner, who has stepped up from his role as Under-21s manager, worked previously in the first team set-up under Jack Charlton and is thrilled to have another opportunity.

King, whose temporary appointment was announced on Monday evening, said: "I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to work with the senior squad at tournaments such as the 1990 World Cup under Jack Charlton and have been involved in international football for many years at various age levels.

"I know how the set up works and what goes on, although there are obviously differences between the various levels.

"Obviously I was very proud when I was asked to take this role. I'm honoured and even though this is just a caretaker position, it's marvellous for me and for my family.

"I'm delighted to be given this opportunity and delighted that the FAI (Football Association of Ireland) had the confidence in me to give me this responsibility."

King will take charge of the team for the two remaining World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Kazakhstan in October following Giovanni Trapattoni's departure after defeats by Sweden and Austria this month, which left the Republic with no chance of making it to Brazil next summer.

He will watch a series of games in the United Kingdom this week before naming a provisional squad on Monday, which will then be whittled down at the end of the month.

He said: "There are plenty of games to get to between now and then in terms of me finalising the squad, and I'll look at as many players as I can before picking the provisional squad.

"I'm sure there will be a few injuries and players possibly not available for a variety of reasons, which is always the case in international football at all levels.

"What is important is that we recognise that the FIFA rankings are key for us.

"I believe in Ireland. The spirit and skills of the players, their never say die attitude - everybody is aware of that trait in our squad. That's the starting point."

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