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O'Neill is on the hunt for Ireland X-factor


Martin O'Neill

Martin O'Neill

Martin O'Neill

Martin O'Neill is still searching for a special ingredient to lift Ireland to another level.

After noting that Wales' X-factor, Gareth Bale, is now likely to be fit to face Ireland in March, O'Neill signalled his priority for the months ahead.

"Considering the length of time between now and then, March 24, I think he (Bale) would probably be playing.

"Chris Coleman has said that he will be fit to play and I would take it as read that he would be," O'Neill (left) said before launching his talent hunt.

"In my time here I'd love to have a 27-year-old Robbie Keane available to me. I didn't have that opportunity to work with him until he was at the latter stages of his career.

"We need to look again for something to make us a better side - a team capable of scoring goals or a team with a goal scorer. That's something we will be looking at," he said.

With that in mind, O'Neill confirmed that he intends to contact Brentford's Scott Hogan's agent before Christmas.

"I haven't done that. I will do it, as I said a while back. I will speak to him and his agent," said the Ireland boss.