Taylor: O'Neill deserves new deal

13 October 2013 05:01

Northern Ireland coach Maik Taylor has called for the Irish Football Association to hand Michael O'Neill a new deal despite the side's troubling run of results.

Taylor, who is working on a short-term deal as goalkeeping coach less than two years since winning his last cap, believes O'Neill needs to stay on when his contract expires at the end of the year.

A quick scan of his record - played 13, won only one - does the former Shamrock Rovers boss few favours, with defeats in Luxembourg and Azerbaijan in the last two World Cup qualifiers particularly disappointing.

But there is more to the story, with O'Neill working hard behind the scenes to strengthen the Northern Ireland set-up from the bottom, while also overseeing a changing of the guard in the senior side.

Talks will resume after Tuesday's final qualification match in Israel, and Taylor hopes they go well.

"I strongly believe the way forward is with Michael at the helm and leading us into the Euros," Taylor told Press Association Sport.

"I really feel if he carries on then everyone will be better for that continuity.

"It's going to take time, no question. Some of the young lads coming into the national side are not even playing club football, but we have a small pool of players and it's not as though we can go out and sign someone, so you do the best you can.

"Michael is very, very passionate. He's hurting as much, if not more, than anyone else.

"If you take the blip in Luxembourg out of it, the performances in all the other games - irrespective of the results - have been strong.

Source: PA