Monday 1 May 2017

O'Neill hails Mannus ahead of move to St Johnstone

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

MICHAEL O'Neill last night paid tribute to penalty hero Alan Mannus, who looks set to leave the club after next week's second leg.

The Hoops boss didn't want to speculate on his whether his goalkeeper played his last game at Tallaght, but the Northern Ireland international's lap of honour at the end looked like he was saying goodbye to the fans.

Mannus, who last night saved a 32nd-minute penalty, is expected to sign for Scottish side St Johnstone.

O'Neill, who didn't want to go into specifics, said: "I don't know. We'll deal with that when the situation arises, but it's irrelevant tonight.

"We'll see him in Tallinn but we'll deal with it after that. There might be something happening but there's nothing confirmed. He kept a clean sheet and saved a penalty.

"He's very strong minded. He made a good save from a free kick in the first half as well.

" I'm delighted for him keeping a clean sheet in a Champions League tie, it will give him every confidence."

O'Neill was happy with his team's performance, although his main regret was not adding to Chris Turner's strike. But the Rovers boss believes his side can add to their lead in the away leg.

"We're happy, it was an excellent performance. Right from the first blast of the referee's whistle, our intentions were clear and we were probably disappointed we didn't score a second," he said.

"We knew in the second half the energy levels would drop. We didn't score again but we're more than capable of going to Tallinn and scoring. We're definitely confident.

"Any time we got the ball into the box they struggled with crosses. We go into the second leg full of confidence."

Irish Independent

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