Belfast Telegraph

Robinson the ideal choice, says McAuley

Gareth McAuley
Gareth McAuley
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Former Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley has described Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson as the "perfect person" to replace Michael O'Neill as Northern Ireland boss.

McAuley wrote in his Sunday Life column this week that Robinson should be the man to take over the helm, and he doubled down on that belief by declaring it on live television yesterday.

Robinson has worked wonders with the 'Well in Scotland, taking over in 2017 after the departure of Mark McGhee and becoming a favourite with the fans.

Under his stewardship, Motherwell had a sensational 2017-18 season, reaching the finals of both the Scottish League Cup and the Scottish Cup, losing both to Celtic.

The Lisburn man, who made seven appearances for Northern Ireland as a player, also has experience within the international set-up before his managerial days.

He has worked with the under-age squads in previous years and knows the system, while he was also invited to the finals of Euro 2016 to assist O'Neill as part of his backroom staff.

"There are a few names being bandied about. For me personally, the one is Stephen Robinson at Motherwell," said McAuley.

"I think it keeps the continuity, he knows the players that are coming through, he's worked with them in the under-age groups.

"He knows the players in the senior squad, he's worked with them under Michael. The lads have a lot of respect for him.

"I just think it would be foolish if they didn't at least approach him and make contact, even if they feel Michael should carry on. It wouldn't surprise me if another club comes in (for him).

"(The IFA) may lose out on the perfect person to take over."

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