Saturday 16 December 2017

'FAI must get O'Neill deal done' - Dunne

Ireland legend confused by unusual contract situation which could allow boss to leave

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. Photo: Marko Djurica/Reuters
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. Photo: Marko Djurica/Reuters
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Richard Dunne believes that Ireland is the perfect job for Martin O'Neill but the FAI have left themselves open to losing him because of the delay in finalising his new contract.

The former Ireland defender is baffled by the slow process that has led to O'Neill starting the World Cup campaign on a rolling deal and has urged the FAI to get it sorted quickly.

He is sure that his old boss from Aston Villa would like to stay on for the next two years because the international job suits him at this stage of his career.

"I don't know whether it's his fault or the FAI's fault but whoever is doing the administration on it needs to get it sorted," said Dunne yesterday.

"They keep saying they shook hands on it. . . I can't understand why it's not signed. If it's there and ready to sign and everyone is happy, just sign it. It stops him being questioned. You see that he gets annoyed when people ask. Well, just sign it and the question is gone.

"Whether there is something in it . . . the FAI have probably been chasing Martin for a long time but he was always in a job. Now that they have him, why they don't (get it completed). . . It's so easy to bring a piece of paper around to his house and sign that, do it!"

Dunne thinks O'Neill is happy in the Ireland job and reckons it would take an exceptional offer to tempt him away.

But he finds it strange that the FAI would leave themselves in a position where it is possible for that scenario to materialise.

"They have left themselves wide open if someone wants him and he wants to go, then it's back to square one again for the FAI," he said.

"I can't imagine why he would want to leave. It's a great job for him and I think the opportunity to go and manage at a World Cup is there.

"Certainly for this stage of his career - as the last couple of jobs in England have been difficult or whatever - I just think it's ideal for him."

Irish Independent

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