Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: Restoring pride

There are plenty of celebrities on our screens at Christmas. And last week we were treated to one more, as Mary Portas, TV's Queen of Shops, unveiled her masterplan to save our ailing High Streets.

In doing so, she became the latest example of what, for many people, is the worst kind of headline-chasing government.

The Irish Football Association has a shortlist of three men to manage the international soccer team. All are distinguished former players and all are keen to take on the daunting job. The team's standing may have slumped in recent times but there is no doubt that any of the three candidates could give the players a fresh impetus. And they could also appeal to young Catholic players who are currently opting to make themselves available for the relatively high-flying Republic of Ireland squad. This drain of talented young players must be stopped, for it is on them in the long term that the success of the Northern Ireland team will be built. The new manager must restore pride in playing for the team. May the best man win.

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