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'If they've got 10 minutes spare I’d probably pick the whole lot of them!' - O'Neill praises Dundalk

The Ireland boss described the Lilywhites’ Europa League win over Maccabi Tel Aviv as the ‘best ever.”

O'Neill speaking today.
O'Neill speaking today.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

IRELAND MANAGER MARTIN O’Neill has been singing the praises of Dundalk after their latest European exploits.

Ciaran Kilduff’s late goal handed the Louth club a 1-0 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Europa League group stages, a first for an Irish side, and puts Stephen Kenny’s men in contention for a place in the knckout rounds.

O’Neill was present at Tallaght Stadium last Thursday night, and he commended them at his press conference in Dublin this evening.

“Best ever,” he replied, when asked for his thoughts on the result. “I thought it was fantastic.

“I thought their performance against BATE Borisov was really immense and this, if anything, surpassed it. It was a really great effort, they deserved to win the game and they have been carrying the flag for some considerable time.

“It gives the league a boost and they deserve great credit.”

Dundalk's players celebrate Ciaran Kilduff's goal The Dundalk players celebrating their winning goal against Maccabi Tel Aviv. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

There have been growing calls for Lilywhites players, including star winger Daryl Horgan, to be added to the Ireland squad over the past couple of months.

And while O’Neill joked that he would happily name the entire Dundalk team for Ireland, he believes a couple wouldn’t be out of place at international level but pointed to their hectic run of games as a reason to leave them out for now.

“If they’ve got ten minutes to spare I’d probably pick the whole lot of them!” he said, with tongue-in-cheek. “They’ve only got another 15 games in the next two days.

I think they’re talking about a (FAI Cup semi-final) replay coming up on Tuesday so they should have three hours sleep! Their efforts are fantastic — absolutely fantastic.

“There are one or two who could easily be in our squad but the games that they have, I’ll leave it now and see how things develop.

“They have played very well indeed and a couple of them have been absolutely astonishing.”

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Source: FAI TV/YouTube

Originally published Monday at 20.53

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Ben Blake

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