Republic of Ireland interim manager Noel King has expressed his delight at being given the responsibility to coach his country for the remaining FIFA World Cup qualifying fixtures against Germany and Kazakhstan.
King will step up from his role as Under-21 manager to take charge of the Irish side for the games against Germany in Cologne on 11 October and Kazakhstan in Aviva Stadium four days later.
Having worked with the senior intentional set-up during Jack Charlton’s reign as Republic of Ireland manager, King is aware of the responsibilities dealing with the senior squad.
He 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 had the confidence in me to give me this responsibility.”
King will be attending matches in the UK this week before finalising a provisional squad which will then be reduced further before the squad assembles during the international week in October.
“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,” King said.
“I’m sure there’ll 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.”