Belfast Telegraph

Club switch may not be on the cards for me, says Michael

By Graham Luney

Michael O'Neill has suggested his next managerial move may not be for a club job.

The Northern Ireland boss was heavily linked with the Leicester City position following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri but the Foxes have kept faith with Craig Shakespeare for the rest of the season.

Some supporters are still surprised O'Neill is leading the charge for his country after the Euro 2016 heroics which ended in a last 16 loss to Wales.

With a vital World Cup qualifier coming up against Norway at Windsor Park on Sunday night, the former Shamrock Rovers supremo will not be distracted from his goal of guiding Northern Ireland to back to back major tournaments but the more success he tastes the more rumours will swirl regarding a career change.

"These things are in the media. It's speculation," said the 47-year-old.

"You're linked because things are going well here.

"I'm five years in this job and a lot of people are trying to put me into another job but I'm okay where I'm at. I'm focused on the games now and in June and the prize, hopefully, of getting to Russia.

"Football's more volatile now than it's ever been. Everyone always thinks the next step for a manager in my position is to go into club football in England and that may not be the case.

"The game's a lot more global now.

"Look at the tenure of a club manager in England and it's maybe not as appealing as it was.

"You never know how someone evaluates what you do, the ownership model at clubs is very different from what it was.

"It would be foolhardy of me to wish my career away thinking 'I wish I had that job, this job'. I don't think like that.

"I'll do the best I can and what will materialise, will materialise, whether that's continuing the job I'm in or when something else comes along."

Belfast Telegraph


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