Saturday 16 December 2017

Martin O'Neill will be huge success as Ireland boss says Tony Cottee

Andy Hampson

Former England striker Tony Cottee has backed Martin O'Neill to be a resounding success as Republic of Ireland manager.

Cottee was a member of O'Neill's League Cup-winning Leicester side in 2000.

O'Neill, who had been out of work since being sacked by Sunderland in April, has been named as Giovanni Trapattoni's successor as Ireland boss.

Winning a place at Euro 2016 will be his first target and Cottee, 48, expects the 61-year-old Northern Irishman to deliver.

Cottee, speaking at the launch of the William Hill-sponsored Football Supporters' Federation 2013 Awards at Leyton Orient FC, said: "It's a fantastic appointment.

"I am a big fan of Martin O'Neill and had three wonderful years with him at Leicester.

"He is a very charismatic manager and a very passionate man.

"I believe at this stage of his career it is a great move for him.

"I think he has got a point to prove, as it was not way the way he wanted to leave Sunderland.

"I think he will come back and, with the help of Roy Keane and whoever else he brings in, get the best out of the players available.

"I think there are a few good players there. Sometimes you just need to organise them a bit better and I am sure Martin will do that.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he took them to the next Euros. I am sure he will be a big success."

O'Neill's appointment came alongside that of ex-Republic midfielder Keane - incidentally also a former Sunderland boss - as his assistant.

After the stale end to Trapattoni's reign, Cottee has no doubt the new managerial combination will reinvigorate the squad.

Cottee, who won seven caps for England and also played for West Ham and Everton, said: "You are getting two iconic characters coming in.

"They will both be passionate about the cause.

"If you get the off-field things sorted out, there is no reason, with the players they have got, why they can't qualify for the Euros.

"Martin will really galvanise them."

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport