Martin O’Neill hints he is ready to extend Republic of Ireland contract

05 October 2017 01:31

Martin O’Neill has hinted he is ready to stay on as Republic of Ireland manager whatever happens in the final two games of their World Cup qualifying campaign.

O’Neill’s current deal, along with those of his staff, is due to expire once the fate of Ireland’s bid to make it to Russia is confirmed.

But asked to what extent the outcome of Thursday’s Group D clash with Moldova – and the trip to Wales which follows it – will have on his decision, he replied: “I think there’s a willingness on both sides (to stay on).

“I had a conversation with (Football Association of Ireland chief executive) John (Delaney) not so very long ago and John would like me to continue. I certainly would be looking forward to it.

“I don’t think today is the day to discuss it but I must admit that with some of the Euros games in Dublin, I think there are exciting times ahead.”

Under O’Neill and assistant Roy Keane, the Republic qualified for the Euro 2016 finals where they reached the last 16, earning the managerial team contract extensions. Having overseen an overhaul of the squad, they now appear ready to commit their future once again.

O’Neill said: “We’ve looked at the fact that there are some young players coming through – I say ‘young players’ I’m talking about mid-20s – who hopefully will take on the mantle of the older players when they drop out of the squad, so I think there is much to look forward to.

“We qualified for a competition – one out of one, I think the season tickets have gone from 4,000 when we started to 16,000 so I think there is some evidence that we’re doing okay.

“We did qualify for the Euros, we’re still in the mix for this one, so one out of one at the minute is not too bad.”

Source: By PA Sport Staff