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'There will be disappointment' - O'Neill admits cutting players is the worst part of the job

Ireland’s manager must decide who makes the final 23-man panel over the next few days.

Taking notes: O'Neill at the FAI's National Training Centre.
Taking notes: O'Neill at the FAI's National Training Centre.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

THIS TIME NEXT week, Ireland’s 23-man squad and the management team will have just arrived at their Euro 2016 base in Versailles.

The Boys in Green are midway through a training camp in Dublin, which culminates in Friday’s friendly game against the Netherlands at Lansdowne Road, before they then embark on a five-day trip to Fota Island.

And while most fans would at this point be able to guess the majority of the names who will be on the plane to France, there remains a few areas of contention.

Having originally said he would confirm his final list at a press conference this Saturday, the Derryman now looks likely to hold off until the Uefa deadline just after the Belarus game at Turner’s Cross next Tuesday, 31 May.

And O’Neill, in his first role as an international boss after a successful career in club football, admits that informing the players who haven’t made the cut could well proved to be the most difficult part of the job.

When asked today if it the worst thing about being an international manager, he replied:

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“It is, for this reason alone – At club level, it’s a pretty frequent event. On a Friday, you’re telling players that they’re not going to be involved but there’s a possibility of being involved the next week if that’s the case.

“Because you’re dealing with the players, you know that you will meet them on a Monday.

But these players here at international level give up their time and energy and want to be involved. It wouldn’t be for the money, it’s really for the glory.

“There are a few decisions to make, whether it’s at the weekend or whether we wait until the last couple of hours after the Belarus game.

“There will be disappointment and it certainly wouldn’t be easy.”

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Ben Blake

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