Friday 20 July 2018

'I think there's a willingness on both sides' - Martin O'Neill hints at staying on for Euro 2020

The Derryman offered an update on his own position

Ireland boss Martin O’Neill. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland boss Martin O’Neill. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Martin O'Neill has delivered the strongest indication yet that he wants to stay on for the Euro 2020 qualification bid and the Ireland manager says that John Delaney is on the same page.

The Derryman offered an update on his own position ahead of tomorrow night's World Cup qualifier with Moldova at the Aviva Stadium.

Ireland's Russian fate will be determined by their concluding double header with the Moldovans and Wales but O'Neill is keen to continue into a third campaign regardless of the outcome.

And he added that a discussion with his employers suggested they are happy with that position.

"I think there's a willingness on both sides," said O'Neill, "I had a conversation with John (Delaney) not so very long ago. John would like me to continue and I'm looking forward to - I don't think today is the day to discuss it - I must admit that with the Euros and the possibility of qualification and some games in Dublin, there's exciting times ahead."

Ireland are one of the co-hosts for the 2020 tournament which will be spread across the continent and would play a minimum of two games in the Aviva if they happened to make it through.

O'Neill said earlier in the week that he expected changes to his panel whenever Ireland's interest in the World Cup ends and he believes he is well placed to oversee any transition. He also pointed to attendance figures as evidence that the public are on board.

"We've looked at the fact there's some good young players coming through - when I say young I'm talking mid twenties - and I think there's much to look forward to," said the 65-year-old.

"We've qualified for a competition (Euro 2016), that's one out of one so far. Season tickets have gone from 4,000 to 16,000. There's some evidence we're doing ok."

O'Neill offered a positive injury bulletin ahead of the Moldova game with the match fitness of James McCarthy his only concern. The rest of his 30-man squad are in good health but Robbie Brady and James McClean are suspended and will come into the fray for the crucial Welsh date on Monday.

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport