Belfast Telegraph

Michael O'Neill's best option is to stay with Northern Ireland, insists Whiteside


By Gareth Hanna

Making a move to manage the Scotland national team wouldn't make sense for Michael O'Neill, according to a Northern Ireland great.

The Scottish FA are understood to have approached the Northern Ireland manager but Norman Whiteside reckons the Ballymena man should only leave his current job for a club role.

Posted by Belfast Telegraph on Thursday, November 16, 2017

Speaking last night alongside fellow Manchester United legend Paul McGrath at an evening hosted by the Belfast Telegraph, Whiteside said: "I don't understand this Scottish thing. Why leave Northern Ireland to go and manage Scotland?

"It's quite a young team and he only signed a contract (in March 2016). There's still a few years left. It really does boil down to what Michael wants. If he wants day to day football he'll take a club job. You do miss that and the dressing room banter, seriously."

O'Neill (right) is thought to be uninterested in a move to manage Sunderland, despite the Wearside club being keen to bring in the Northern Ireland boss.

Speculation also surrounds the future of Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill.

The Ulsterman was criticised heavily for his decisions during the 5-1 defeat to Denmark in the second leg of the World Cup play-off, but former Republic star McGrath wants the Londonderry man to stay in his job.

McGrath said: "I'd try and keep Martin and (assistant) Roy (Keane) together. They're yin and yang. I'm sure there are people across the water who would love Martin as a manager.

"I think him and Roy have done a good job. We lost about three of our best players early on in this campaign and still we reached the final hurdle."

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