Northern Ireland job appeals to me, admits Michael O’Neill
Published 16/11/2011 | 08:31
Michael O’Neill last night admitted that he would be interested in the vacant Northern Ireland manager’s job.
Two weeks ago the former midfielder appeared to have ruled himself out of contention to replace Nigel Worthington when he said he was committed to his current role at Shamrock Rovers.
But now, speaking directly about the Northern Ireland post for the first time, the 42-year-old said his future was “very much up in the air.”
He added that the prospect of managing his country’s international team was “very attractive” — and that he would “consider anything that comes along.”
O’Neill’s apparent shift in stance is bound to alarm Dublin club Rovers, whom the Ballymena native has just led to an Airtricity Premier Division title.
It’s also certain to shorten the odds on the former international midfielder assuming the hotseat vacated by Worthington last month.
“I have not ruled myself in or out of any job,” O’Neill told BBC Northern Ireland.
“My contract (with Rovers) ends shortly and I'm in discussions about a new one. My future is very much up in the air to be honest and the Northern Ireland job is very attractive, no doubt about that.”
He added: “Whether it's too soon in my career . . . some people have said that, but I'd consider anything that comes along.”
Jim Magilton, who has been acting in a consultancy role alongside O’Neill at Rovers, is also interested in the £450,000-a-year post.