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O'Neill nears Shamrock Rovers exit

Shamrock Rovers manager Michael O'Neill is set to leave the club after their Europa League clash against Tottenham having failed to agree terms on a new deal, Press Association Sport understands.

O'Neill, who is understood to be interviewing for the Northern Ireland job this week, has made a big success of his time at the Tallaght Stadium, winning back-to-back League of Ireland titles and the 2011 Setanta Sports Cup, before qualifying for the Europa League with victory over Partizan Belgrade in the play-offs.

In doing so his Rovers side became the first League of Ireland team to reach the group stages in Europe.

Earlier this year he had seemed eager to extend his contract but recently admitted managing his national side was an "attractive" option.

Rovers midfielder Rohan Ricketts wrote on Twitter today: "Terrible news about the gaffer leaving at the end of the season. Major loss for this club in a few ways. Back to back leagues and the Europa League.

"I hope all you Shamrock Rovers fans give Michael O'Neill the send [off] he deserves against Spurs on Thursday night."

Rovers skipper Dan Murray told BBC Northern Ireland: "He said he was telling us so he could focus on Thursday's game and make sure we do ourselves justice.

"I was pretty surprised myself because we've had a pretty good year but it's one of those things."

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