The manager didn’t actually say much to be honest with you, he kind of just read out the team and we were trying to figure out where everyone was playing. When he read the team out a few of the lads were saying ‘are you playing off the striker?’ and I was like ‘I think I could be’.
But then Steve Walford comes around and he gives you the set-pieces and how the shape is going to set up.
Obviously as we got closer to the game I realised that I was playing there and it was another challenge.
Aiden McGeady, 2014, post-Ireland 1-1 draw with Germany
A regular feature of Martin O'Neill's tenure as Republic of Ireland manager has been his preference to announce starting teams just prior to kick-off. Several players have referenced it in interviews, the latest being Declan Rice who told RTE he only learned he was set to start on his recent debut against Turkey an hour before kick-off.
Speaking on Soccer Republic last night, Brian Kerr questioned this 'extraordinary' approach.
‘I find it extraordinary’ – Brian Kerr on Martin O’Neill’s policy on naming the Republic of Ireland team just an hour before kick-off #soccerrepublic pic.twitter.com/Xe6xCGjNvQ
— Soccer Republic (@SoccRepublic) March 26, 2018
O'Neill's approach is comparable to his former manager, Brian Clough, who famously took a similar approach to tactics and team selection. It has been a constant throughout his career and part of the reason he is a better manager than a coach.