Monday 5 December 2016

Martin O'Neill gives hilarious response when asked about James McClean eventually captaining Ireland

Published 17/11/2016 | 16:29

Martin O'Neill is fond of the occasional wry remark when he addresses the media and although his loose comments sometimes court controversy, he got the balance right today.

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The Ireland manager was speaking at the launch of SPAR FAI Primary School 5s when he was asked about the improved performances of Ireland midfielder James McClean.

The Derry player's goals have been crucial in the last two World Cup qualifiers, with Ireland now entering 2017 with a two point lead at the top of Group D.

O'Neill thinks that McClean has benefited from taking a more measured approach to social media.

"James' attitude has always been terrific. I think he's taken himself off Twitter and Facebook and anything else James was on," he said in quotes reported by Newstalk.

"I think if there's such a thing as James maturing, James has matured. I would say that very cautiously but it's been great. His attitude has been fantastic, absolutely fantastic. But it's always been like that. And do you know what I think it is? He's got himself into goalscoring positions now."

O'Neill was then asked about the prospect of McClean eventually captaining the national team, giving a firmly tongue in cheek response.

"I think you're going far too far up the road now for James to be captain of the side - he's a lunatic!," he joked.

"I think Coleman would have a lot to say about that at the moment. He's grabbed that captaincy and has excelled in it.

"When James is the captain, I'll be long dead by that time."

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