Cottee, who played under O'Neill at Leicester City, feels that his former boss is the ideal man for the job and believes that the time was right for him to go into international management.
"It's a fantastic appointment. I am a big fan of Martin O'Neill and had three wonderful years with him at Leicester," he is quoted as saying by RTE.
"He is a very charismatic manager and a very passionate man. I believe at this stage of his career it is a great move for him.
"I think he has got a point to prove, as it was not way the way he wanted to leave Sunderland."
O'Neill signed a two-year contract.