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O’Neill: Northern Ireland job would tempt me from Shamrock Rovers

Michael O'Neill wants to commit himself to Shamrock Rovers and discussions on a new contract will resume at Tallaght after next week's Europa League game against Rubin Kazan.

But the Ballymena man admitted he would take the Northern Ireland job if offered it.

O’Neill was also believed to be in the running for the manager's job at former club Hibernian, but he has since denied applying for a post that now looks likely to be filled by Pat Fenlon.

While he remains open to the possibility of managing Northern Ireland, the 42-year-old is intent on signing a new contract with the Hoops, where his current deal runs out after the Europa League clash with Tottenham Hotspur on December 15.

“I'm under contract with Shamrock Rovers and my focus has never been anywhere else,” he said.

“Discussions between myself and the board are ongoing and we have never really said that there won't be a resolution and that I won't be extending my stay.

“Possibly when the Kazan game is out of the way we can sit down and have some serious discussions. Hopefully the board see me as the right man to drive this club forward.”

O'Neill reiterated that if the IFA were to offer him the Northern Ireland job, he’d go.

“I played for more than 10 years with Northern Ireland and to manage your country would be a huge honour,” he said. “I never ruled myself in or out of that job.”

But O'Neill warned that the league must continue to progress along with the Hoops if talent like his own is to be kept on these shores.

“There is a period of uncertainty now in the league, how many teams it will have next year, 12 or 10,” he said. “That's a situation that the FAI need to address, because with stability comes credibility and the league needs that.”

Belfast Telegraph