Belfast Telegraph

Scotland a sideways move for O'Neill: How ex internationals reacted to MON's decision to stay with NI

Michael O'Neill's decision to rebuff an offer to take over as Scottish national team manager was a major talking point across football on Monday.

So what was the reaction among ex internationals? Here are four points of view:

Nigel Worthington (Former NI manager)

“I was surprised when Michael was linked with the Scotland job because I wondered why he would consider it but I am delighted he has turned it down. Michael knows the squad better than anyone and with him in charge our chances of qualifying for a major tournament again will remain good. If a Premier League club came in the IFA would find it a lot harder to keep hold of him. Scotland would have been a sideways move.”

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Nigel Worthington

Charlie Nicholas (Ex-Scotland striker)

“It’s been embarrassing for a long time. Michael O’Neill wasn’t my first choice but that’s irrelevant. I’m absolutely convinced that we have more than enough Scottish candidates that would do the role that Michael O’Neill was being asked to fill. We don’t have a future if we don’t get the structure of the national manager right. It’s harsh but it’s realistic.”

Bryan Hamilton (Former NI manager)

“It’s terrific. I’m not surprised because while Scotland have had great players I don’t believe their squad is much stronger than ours, if at all. Maybe Michael looked at that and thought the expectation would have been too great. What he has achieved is unbelievable and he has created a special group with the same spirit the squads of the 1980s and 1958 had. He would have been a hard act to follow but now he can keep the momentum going and help us challenge for major tournaments.”

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Ex-Northern Ireland boss Bryan Hamilton

Gordon McQueen (Ex-Scotland defender)

“I’m surprised he’s turned it down because it’s still a very good job. It’s obviously money; money talks. It’s all about money nowadays and Michael O’Neill hasn’t taken the Scottish job because of that. Plenty of people will be willing to take his place, that’s for sure.”

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