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Preview: O'Shea looks to control his own controllables

When John O'Shea took over as Republic of Ireland manager in March, he spoke about helping the team to return to winning ways.

This time around, the talk from the interim manager is more progressive, speaking with substance, plotting Ireland’s path back to qualifying for major tournaments.

By any means necessary, appeared to be the philosophy ahead of last week’s game, as O’Shea targeted a home win – home wins are critical for tournament qualification, he stressed.

And while the nature of the victory over Hungary did not need the side to resort to Machiavellian methods, the result was achieved off the back of an under-par performance – winning ugly, another sign of an improving team.

If winning the home games is key, then it makes sense for O’Shea to take a different approach to tonight’s match, as the general consensus states that when it comes to qualifying, you take three points on your own patch and aim for a point or better on the road.

Euro 2024 is on the horizon, but yet another edition of a tournament that will proceed without the Boys in Green, so this friendly fixture for Ireland in Portugal is a way to sign off for the season on a positive note.

Hungary at home and Portugal away could very well be a snapshot of future campaigns, as Ireland will have to compete as a lower seed as a result of their recent results, so it makes sense that O’Shea is painting that picture for the FAI in this latest audition for the permanent position.

Against the odds, perhaps, O’Shea performed admirably throughout that March window where his side looked enthused and energetic, motivated and marshalled.

A well-earned draw with Belgium was followed by a narrow defeat to Switzerland, and while the manager was unable to orchestrate a fightback

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