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O'Neill refutes quit rumours and insists he's staying put

Martin O'Neill has rounded on those who believe he will quit as Sunderland manager and reaffirmed his long-term commitment to the club.

O'Neill was bemused to be told by staff there were stories spreading across Twitter and other parts of the internet on Saturday night that he had resigned after Sunderland's 4-2 home defeat to West Brom.

Similar rumours had started on the social networking site earlier this season and, while O'Neill is irritated because of the uncertainty it spreads, he also accepts there is little he can do other than assure supporters he remains devoted to bringing success to the club he supported as a boy.

"Nothing probably should surprise me in the game, but that did," said O'Neill, whose side have won only two Premier League matches this season.

"There is nothing I can do about it, you can tweet anything these days. I've learnt to accept it. It's a disappointment that journalists have seen a story on Twitter and run it without checking, but I'm absolutely not going anywhere."

The fact that rumours of his resignation gained any credence is down to Sunderland's poor form since they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Everton in March.

They are fifth from bottom as they entertain Harry Redknapp's new club Queens Park Rangers tonight.

Despite facing increased criticism, O'Neill is confident in his own ability and that chairman Ellis Short will provide the time and financial backing to improve the squad.

He added: "The owner has said to me it will take time to get things together.

"He is not expecting anything at the minute, he genuinely wants stability, and teams that have shown stability have come through it.

"Both of us want to deliver a team that, not only would the fans be delighted with, but also a side that can compete. I accept the criticism, it's part of the game.

"It doesn't upset me, but I will remember it. We'll look to strengthen the squad in January." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent