O'Neill eyeing Northern Ireland job

16 December 2011 09:46

Michael O'Neill ended his reign as Shamrock Rovers boss on Thursday night before outlining his credentials to succeed Nigel Worthington as Northern Ireland manager.

O'Neill signed off as Rovers manager with a 4-0 Europa League defeat to Tottenham. He will now prepare for an interview with the Irish Football Association, thought to be scheduled for Monday. The 42-year-old guided Rovers to back-to-back league titles and also made the Dublin outfit the first League of Ireland club to qualify for the group stages of a European competition.

"It would be an honour to get that job and manage your country," said O'Neill, who joins his Rovers assistant Jim Magilton and Iain Dowie on the IFA shortlist.

"The vacancy is there for the job. I have been shortlisted for it. I will do the interview for it and we will see. I am no different from any other person who has played for the country."

Dowie has the edge over the Rovers boss in terms of experience, while Magilton is a fan favourite but O'Neill's exploits at Tallaght Stadium have made him the bookmakers' pick and he thinks he has the right qualities to fill the post.

He said: "The club had won one trophy in 20-odd years before I came here and we have won three in three years and the club has a lot more money in the bank than when I arrived. We have achieved an awful lot.

"Hopefully people will look at the spell I have had here and the spell I had at Brechin City, and they will see the progress both clubs have made and they will see that I'm a viable candidate."

Magilton has been working alongside O'Neill since Tom Croly left the Hoops in June. O'Neill is a long-time friend of the former Ipswich manager and would be willing to make him a part of his coaching staff at national level if he gets the job.

"Jim and I have known each other all our lives, so there are no issues there," O'Neill added.

"Jim has been interviewed for the job. I will be interviewed for the job. The IFA (Irish Football Association) may give it to someone else. That's the reality of the situation."

Source: PA