Sunday 18 March 2018

'FAI wanted me to sign a longer deal' says O'Neill

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Martin O'Neill has revealed that he was offered a four-year contract by the FAI when the assumed the reins.

O'Neill eventually signed a two-year deal and a series of declarations around the time of his appointment suggested that his tenure was very much tied in with qualifying for Euro 2016.

With Ireland's fate hanging in the balance, that has raised questions about his future if it all goes wrong in the autumn.

However, O'Neill says that he put pressure on himself by accepting a shorter deal - stating that John Delaney originally offered a four-year contract when they were in the process of negotiating.

"I have to say that John wanted me to commit longer," said O'Neill. "We want to qualify. I was the one who said, 'Let's see this competition and see where we go'.

"John Delaney never said to me that these are the consequences of not qualifying. If you asked him now, he'd never say it. And no members of the FAI have ever said it.

"John was quite the opposite by saying, 'I don't think you should have put that pressure on yourself'. The consequences of not qualifying are always there but those words were genuinely from myself."

Meanwhile, Hull City's Robbie Brady is moving closer towards joining Norwich City after Steve Bruce confirmed over the weekend that the player is determined to stay in the Premier League.

After rejecting new terms at Hull, the size of the transfer fee should present the only stumbling block with a figure of £7m being discussed.

Dundalk will today learn if BATE Borisov striker Vitali Rodionov misses Wednesday's crunch Champions League tie in Oriel Park for his head-butt on Dane Massey.

The Borisov player seems resigned to it after taking the unusual step of issuing an apology to his club and to Massey before UEFA's verdict.

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