Belfast Telegraph

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Coleman claims keeping boss on board is key for Republic

By Damian Spellman

Seamus Coleman is confident a bright future lies ahead for a new-look Republic of Ireland team once the ink is dry on manager Martin O'Neill's contract.

The 64-year-old, assistant Roy Keane and the rest of the staff agreed new deals on the eve of the Euro 2016 finals, but are yet to put pen to paper.

Having seen them guide their side to within a whisker of the quarter-finals after Sunday's battling 2-1 defeat by hosts France, Coleman, named captain both at the weekend and for the famous victory over Italy, is hoping an extended stay can pay greater dividends.

He said: "I can't speak highly enough of both of them. Martin is the kind of manager that you really want to go out and do your best for him.

"He's a great motivator, great manager. It would be great if he could stay on because we've learned a lot from him."

O'Neill and Keane have ushered in something of a changing of the guard during their three weeks in France with vastly-experienced trio Shay Given, John O'Shea and Robbie Keane, who have amassed 390 caps between them, playing peripheral roles as the tournament took shape.

At the same time, Shane Duffy, Jeff Hendrick and Robbie Brady have emerged to prove their ability at the highest level with Norwich winger Brady in particular making his mark with a dramatic late winner against Italy and a coolly-taken penalty which left France fighting for their lives at the Stade de Lyon.

He too is keen for O'Neill and Keane to continue the mission they launched some two and a half years ago.

Brady said: "I think it's very important. They've installed something into the team. I'll be delighted if they to get it done."

Belfast Telegraph