Belfast Telegraph

Our Special Ones

By Steven Beacom

Northern Ireland great Mal Donaghy beileves his former international team-mates Michael O'Neill and Martin O'Neill have the managerial qualities to make a positive impact at Euro 2016.

Last month Michael O'Neill (left) inspired Northern Ireland to next year's finals and on Monday it was Martin O'Neill's turn when the Republic beat Bosnia-Herzegovina in a play-off to reach the tournament in France.

Donaghy, who was capped 91 times, is one of the few men to have played at the highest level with both O'Neills, perhaps most memorably alongside Martin at the 1982 World Cup when the Republic boss was captain of Northern Ireland.

"Even before Martin was a manager he had a special quality of being able to get the best out of you. His man management as a player was fantastic and his record as a manager tells you it is the same now," said Donaghy.

"Michael also has star quality. Northern Ireland qualifying for Euro 2016 was fantastic and it's the man at the top who has made it happen. He has instilled a winning habit in the team and is doing a great job.

"I think with Michael and Martin in charge, both Northern Ireland and the Republic could make an impact in France."

Belfast Telegraph