Tuesday 20 August 2019

Martin O'Neill to consider Ireland future after being stung by response to expensive Danish hammering

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. Photo: Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Martin O'Neill is thinking about whether to stay on as Ireland manager as the FAI come to terms with the loss of funds from missing out on the World Cup.

The 65-year-old has been stung by the depth of the criticism following Tuesday night's loss to Denmark.

He has a verbal agreement with John Delaney to sign a new two-year contract and indicated he would expect the FAI to honour that.

But O'Neill could decide to walk away as the FAI face into a miserable 2018 that will have no games of any consequence with the new UEFA Nations League providing the only competitive matches.

World Cup qualification would have been worth more than €9m to the FAI and spin-off benefits such as clauses in sponsorship deals and lucrative pre-tournament friendlies could have raised that figure considerably.

The FAI say they do not budget for qualifying for tournaments. But in the summer, FAI CEO John Delaney said board decisions in early 2018 would determine if the association would press on with plans to be debt-free by 2020.

Delaney said the board would decide in that window whether to clear debt or re-invest in the game. That call is likely to be influenced by the projections for facing into a year where generating revenue will be a challenge.

If he stays, O'Neill expects to preside over a rebuilding job with John O'Shea, Wes Hoolahan and Glenn Whelan expected to step away and question marks over the future of Daryl Murphy and Jon Walters.

Read more here:

"There are some players who would feel that had they qualified, they might have stayed, but they probably will be bringing their international careers to an end," said O'Neill, speaking late on Tuesday night.

"We need to start again. We need to think about some younger elements, and how it is time to blood them through. Obviously we will take it from there. The new competition that it is coming in, the draw for that is in January."

O'Neill acknowledged it would take a while to get over the Danish debacle - he suggested that coping with that pain was a necessary part of the game - and he hopes that players are not scarred.

"This is a chastening experience for us," he said.

"We made mistakes that we haven't been making. I hope that eventually it's not damaging and that these players have proper careers in front of them."

Irish Independent

The Throw-In: Tipp throw off the shackles while Kilkenny’s soul-searching begins

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport