Belfast Telegraph

Michael O'Neill: How I see my Northern Ireland future

By Steven Beacom

Michael O'Neill has revealed that he will never have a job with more emotional pull than managing Northern Ireland, but has admitted that if a club approaches him in the months ahead he will consider it.

In an exclusive interview about his future, O'Neill stressed he was not actively seeking a club post, though added that the Irish FA understand the situation if such a possibility arises.

Following another hugely successful year, O'Neill also talked about how hard it would be for him to manage another country and why he believes Northern Ireland have a genuine shot at reaching the 2018 World Cup finals having experienced the joys of making the knockout stages of Euro 2016.

Northern Ireland are in second spot in their World Cup group and in line for a play-off place under the expert guidance of O'Neill (right), who signed a new four-year deal with the IFA in March. Included in that contract is a £750,000 compensation clause for the IFA if a club wants to recruit O'Neill.

"If it came up I would look at a club job on its merits but I'm not out there chasing my next job," said O'Neill.

"I committed to the IFA with a new deal earlier this year and I believe we both have a good understanding of that commitment. If the situation arose the IFA would be well compensated and it would have to be the right opportunity for me.

"I know that whatever job I go to, if and when I leave Northern Ireland, it will probably never have the same emotional pull that I have for the Northern Ireland job."

Full story: Emotional pull of NI job will never be topped: O'Neill

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