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From drinking with Big Jack to tension with O'Neill - how the Boys in Green and the media drifted apart

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Ireland manager Jack Charlton mingles with members of the media at Dublin Airport prior to the squad’s departure to Italy in 1990. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Ireland manager Jack Charlton mingles with members of the media at Dublin Airport prior to the squad’s departure to Italy in 1990. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Ireland manager Jack Charlton mingles with members of the media at Dublin Airport prior to the squad’s departure to Italy in 1990. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Jack Charlton tosses the remote control to one side and begins picking through a pile of fax messages.

He mutters about not being able to see the buttons, let alone use them. I am in his company, but only nominally here. The room is like a suitcase that's burst open, a great swamp of crumpled clothes and discarded newspapers on the carpet. There's a fast-food bag on the coffee table.

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The press pack look for Martin O’Neill’s views in Malahide in 2015. Photo: David Maher / Sportsfile

The press pack look for Martin O’Neill’s views in Malahide in 2015. Photo: David Maher / Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

The press pack look for Martin O’Neill’s views in Malahide in 2015. Photo: David Maher / Sportsfile

Maybe 12 floors down, in the lobby of Orlando's Hilton North, the strain of ambush relentlessly awaits him. Jack has agreed to this interview, but he's not entirely sure why now.