Martin O'Neill to commit to another term as Irish manager
Martin O'Neill will formally commit to another term as Irish manager in the next few weeks.
He spent this morning reflecting on a superb Irish effort at Euro 2016 and already looking forward to jousting with Wales, Austria and Serbia for a place at the 2018 World Cup.
"The first qualifier is only 70 days away, you know, and that time will fly by," said O'Neill.
He is also talking about the newer players coming through and given that the FAI would be lynched up in Abbotstown if they let their man leave, it seems safe to say that
O'Neill's recent handshake with FAI boss John Delaney will be turned into a definite contract soon enough.
"I'd like Roy Keane to stay too," added the Irish boss. " I will sit down with him. To a certain extent I'm misleading you. Those conversations have mostly already taken place, I think Roy would like to do it and I think we're pretty well all in place if the FAI board want to continue on.
"It's just that I didn't want to see the board last night," he said cheekily
"My contract officially ended about a minute and a half after the result. But I don't see that being an issue now. I've agreed with John and would be happy to continue on if he's still feeling that way.
"I'm still a bit disappointed about yesterday, disappointed we couldn't carry it through. We were in a great position at half-time, the goals we conceded were not brilliant from our viewpoint.
"But to take it all into consideration, I'm very proud of team and the support we received. The combination of both made it really possible for something great to happen. It could have happened."
"Sweden got us off to a fantastic start even though it was only one point. There was pride and disappointment in equal measure that didn't get all three points when we should have done," the manager continued.
"Then we were not so good against Belgium, we didn't play with same intensity and kept giving ball away cheaply. Then, typically, we roared back against Italy, and we had France scared yesterday, really scared. I know that people in Ireland very proud of the team."
O'Neill will not interfere with senior players like Robbie Keane, Shay Given and John O'Shea as they must turn their mind to international retirement or commit to the team for another two years.
"That decision will be up to the players," O'Neill insisted. "I would like to say the players you've mentioned, and I include Glenn Whelan in that too, have been really terrific around the team.
"I think they took the disappointment of the third game (being dropped) into consideration and never let their disappointment show at all. They were the first ones up to support the team. It's entirely up to them."