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'If I was Stoke, I'd be clamouring to appoint O'Neill' - Ireland's Jon Walters

The ex-Potters forward would like to see his international manager take over from Mark Hughes.

Jonathan Walters with Martin O'Neill Walters and O'Neill. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

AS A FORMER Stoke City player and current Ireland international, Jon Walters is well-placed to speak about the speculation linking Martin O’Neill to a Premier League return.

With Quique Sanchez Flores turning down the chance to take the reins at the bet365 Stadium, the Potters have reportedly refocused their attention on persuading the 65-year-old former Leicester City, Celtic, Aston Villa and Sunderland boss to replace Mark Hughes, according to The Telegraph.

If O’Neill does accept, there’s a good chance he could take assistant Roy Keane with him — although The Irish Sun claim the Corkman could be offered the hotseat by the FAI with old foe Mick McCarthy another alternative.

Burnley forward Walters, capped 51 times for the Boys in Green, believes his international boss would be a solid choice for the club he spent seven years with.

“I’m a Stoke fan as well, because obviously I was there for so long,” Walters told the BBC.

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“If I was Stoke City, I’d be clamouring to appoint him. Stoke need organising, they need something because they’re down in the bottom three and it’s such a fantastic club.

I hope they get out of that and I think appointing him [O'Neill would be a good choice], whether Roy would come with him as well — I don’t know the ins and outs and whether he’s been offered it.

“With Ireland, we were fourth favourites to get out of the group behind Serbia, Austria and Wales. Everyone gave us no chance and a lot of people are judging him on the Denmark game, which was a terrible result, but if you look at how we’ve done under him with Ireland I can only sing his praises.”

18th-placed Stoke are away to Manchester United in the Premier League tomorrow night, with caretaker manager Eddie Niedzwiecki due to take charge.

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