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It would be a dream to boss Northern Ireland one day: Wright

By Ronnie Esplin

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright admits the Northern Ireland post would be a "dream job" one day but stressed his happiness at McDiarmid Park.

The Scottish FA made an official approach to its counterparts in Belfast on Wednesday for permission to speak to boss Michael O'Neill, who is also being linked with the vacant managerial position at Sunderland.

Wright, who worked on O'Neill's coaching team before focusing on his role as Saints manager, heads the IFA's list of candidates if or when the former Brechin City boss leaves Windsor Park.

The former Northern Ireland goalkeeper acknowledged the significance of managing his country, but said: "It is all if, if and if. It's all speculation. Michael is still in the post.

"I seem to get linked with a lot of jobs, and that's a good thing in terms of people probably recognising that you are doing a good job where you are.

"I have to reiterate, I am happy at St Johnstone.

"My chairman (Steve Brown) wants me to stay longer.

"When we signed the last contract, and that was quite a while ago, he said that one day, when you leave here, it could be for your national team job and we haven't spoken about it in recent weeks.

"He knows that it is like any Scottish manager, if they were linked to the Scottish job, your country is your country, and for me it is the top job that I could probably ever achieve.

"And it is the same for Scottish managers, to play for your country, to go into management and coaching and then work for the national team is the ultimate dream job. But it's all speculation, there's nothing in it. Michael is still in the job, he is the manager of Northern Ireland, he isn't the manager of Scotland, he hasn't gone to Sunderland.

"He's probably my closest friend in football and it is total speculation.

"I am happy at St Johnstone at the minute and that's all I can focus on."

Belfast Telegraph

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