Ireland and Aston Villa midfielder Hourihane on O'Neill and Keane's reign

Conor Hourihane has opened up to the Keith Andrews Show about the lack of guidance from the previous Republic of Ireland management team, particularly to players coming into international football for the first time.

Hourihane was speaking following O'Neill and Keane's departure from the Republic setup, and prior to a new manager being appointed.

Hourihane made his debut under the previous regime, and was keen to place on record his gratitude to the pair, but painted the picture of a setup whose communication had broken down.

"Look at the Wales squad that came to Ireland; Harry Wilson scored that goal. I think we had six or seven Premier League players, and they had two or three. They played good football that night as well.

"When I first joined the squad, you had players like John O'Shea, Daryl Murphy, Wes [Hoolahan], Glenn [Whelan], Stephen Ward - people who had hundreds of caps between them.

"They probably didn't need as much information and guidance because they had huge amounts of experience. 

"With the younger and inexperienced squad that is there now - we needed every help and guidance possible to compete at that level. That is where we found it frustrating.

"International football is of such high quality, and the lads have seen that over the last twelve months. The results haven't been great."

However, Conor is optimistic for the future, and hopes that the right appointment is made.

"You're telling me that Northern Ireland have a better squad than us and they can only play some good football? Definitely not.

"We, as players, want to showcase the quality that we have. It's hurtful - it's not nice to hear people say it is a terrible squad, because we really feel that that is not the case. There is quality in that squad, without a shadow of a doubt.

"Hopefully now it is an exciting time. Hopefully, with the right man in place, that he can get the quality out that is within that squad."

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