New Republic of Ireland Under-21 manager Jim Crawford says he will lean on the lessons he has picked up from working with Stephen Kenny as his team look to seal European U21 Championship qualification once sport resumes following the coronavirus pandemic.

Crawford, who was one of Kenny's assistants, steps into the management role after the latter's appointment as Ireland senior boss.

Speaking to FAI TV, he praised Kenny for "creating excellent environments" and intends on continuing in the same vein as Ireland's U21s look to build on an encouraging campaign that has featured five wins and one draw from seven games.

"I've been with [Kenny] for 13 months and it's gone by so quick," he said, highlighting the Toulon Tournament and the European Championship qualification phase.

"I've learned a lot from him with what he brings to the manager's role in regards to creating excellent environments for players to go and express themselves.

"Everybody knows he's about possession-based football and players going to express themselves and being creative on the ball and really you need the right environment to have that as your output and all this is underpinned with a culture of excellence.

"It's something I've definitely taken on board and look forward to implementing everything I've learned from Stephen too."

With Keith Andrews joining Kenny's senior coaching staff, former Ireland captain John O'Shea will assist Crawford at Under-21 level, bringing significant club and international playing experience.

"John as a player has got over 100 caps for Ireland and he's played over 500 top-level games with Manchester United, Sunderland and Reading," he said.

"So even that in itself is fantastic to have but more importantly, he's coming in as a coach and he's cutting his cloth at the moment with Reading and it just shows what he's about.

"He loves football, he's passionate about it and he's a deep-thinker about football and that's what I want."

With Kenny now with the Boys in Green, Crawford will look to carry on the task of trying to become the first Irish team to qualify for a European Under-21 Championship, with a trip to face second placed Italy still to come among the three remaining games.

"Obviously, the Italians are the hot favourites for the group but going into this whole campaign, we were fourth seeds and to be sitting on top of the group now is fantastic," he said.

"But there is still loads more work to do."

On a personal level, Crawford added that he welcomed the opportunity to take on the role.

"It's a very proud moment. I'm extremely honoured to be given the role of Under-21s head coach," he said.

"It's been an unbelievable whirlwind couple of days but I'm just privileged and over the moon with the position."