Irish Independent football correspondent Daniel McDonnell sat down with Ireland manager Martin O'Neill following the World Cup in Russia for a wide-ranging interview.
The full interview can be read here, but O'Neill touched on a number of other issues throughout the in-depth exclusive discussion with the Irish Independent that will be of interest to Irish football fans.
Graham Burke’s Move
"Hopefully we played a part in that by calling him into the squad. I’m pleased for the lad. It’s really up to him now to go there, force his ability into the games. He’s got to adapt to their style. Impose himself in the matches, stay in the game for longer and don’t drift out for 20-25 minutes. Sometimes it’s your fault and sometimes it’s not. This is a renaissance and well done to Shamrock Rovers and everyone that has given him a helping hand. It’s up to him now."
The League’s Role
"Myself and Roy go to as many games as we can, and I love the enthusiasm about the league because it’s really great. I think everybody knows that if you have a big player and he wants to go, it will happen. A couple of hundred grand isn’t a big risk by Championship standards."
"I haven’t spoken to the lad (Patrick Bamford) myself yet, but I’ve seen things about his interest and it would be ridiculous of me not to go and pursue someone who has played at a decent level. There’s a couple of other people who have given indication that they would like to play. I will follow them up."
"Dublin has a few games but as manager, that shouldn’t be your foremost thought. It should be qualification. There’s an element in me that thinks that Euros and World Cups are for travel – the Irish fans love to travel but to have it in Dublin is a lovely boost and naturally we will be striving as much as we can to be a part of it."
The Impact of VAR
"I felt it was a reasonable thing, but I think it needs a little bit of honing. The one thing you could have foretold was that VAR was going to lead to more penalties being awarded – players wouldn’t have enough time to change their marking habits. It did add a great deal of excitement but if you are Croatia you would curse it forever more. No matter what you say about the France goals in the second half, Croatia were bang in the game when that decision goes against them."