Ireland’s caretaker manager Noel King has insisted there is no bad feeling between himself and RTE sports reporter Tony O’Donoghue following last night’s controversial interview.
However, he said he “lost the plot”.
The interim manager – who was put in charge of the Irish team for their final two matches in the qualifiers following Giovanni Trapattoni’s departure last month – explained it was his passion for the sport that led to last night’s display.
Speaking at this morning’s press conference in Abbottstown, he also claimed to have a good relationship with O’Donoghue, saying the two worked together 15 years ago.
“I’ve been in the media. I worked with Tony [O’Donoghue] in 98. I was a co-commentator for football in 98.
“I’ll argue with anyone over football. That’s football.
“I lose the plot. I have lost the plot on the pitch. I’ve lost the plot off the pitch. That’s football,” he told Independent.ie at this morning’s conference.
“And after the game, it all comes back [to normal].”
Then he turned to Tony O’Donoghue and said: “We’re alright Tony, aren’t we?”
King took exception to this and angrily asked if O’Donoghue had “done his homework”.
He also appeared to walk out of the interview before O’Donoghue managed to call him back.
This increased following Eamon Dunphy’s comments about King.
Dunphy branded King a ‘bully’ after the interview.
Speaking to independent.ie this morning, Dunphy said King was “stupid”.
However, he described the row as little more than a “storm in a teacup” as King’s tenure as Ireland manager was coming to an end.
“I thought it was a bit immature of Noel. HJe’s 57, and I thought [the reaction] was immaturity and unfair.
“I don’t think Tony stepped out of line at all.
“He probably won’t be doing this job much long , and I think it’s a storm in a teacup really.”
Dunphy claimed that King was reacting to comments made by RTE panel after Ireland’s match against Germany on Saturday night.
He described the pundits – Dunphy, John Giles and Liam Brady – as a comedy.
However, Noel King made no comment about Eamon Dunphy and the RTE pundits this morning.
By Geraldine Gittens