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O'Neill to seek management advice ahead of Euro 2016

The Ireland boss is starting to increase his preparations as the tournament edges closer.

Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

MARTIN O’NEILL PLANS to seek advice from experienced international managers ahead of the European Championship finals in France this summer.

The Ireland boss was in Paris at a meeting for managers and representatives of all 24 teams with just 100 days to go until the start of the tournament.

While O’Neill will pick the brains of others before his first foray into a major international tournament as a manager, he feels that his time at the 1982 World Cup as a Northern Ireland player, and his vast club management experience, stand him in good stead as it is.

“It’d be foolish not to (talk to experienced international managers),” O’Neill told Newstalk’s Off The Ball.

“Of course I can pick up things from people who have got loads and loads of experience from international football. But at this minute I wouldn’t mind be guided by myself.”

The idea that his footballers will become bored in between games at the tournament is something that O’Neill finds baffling.

“I’ve been involved as a player at a World Cup. And while some things have changed, the whole idea about boredom setting in, I really can’t really understand that.

“There aren’t too many competitions that even the very best players in the world will be involved in every single time. So this idea of getting bored, you can get bored for the rest of your life after that. I don’t see those things changing.”

After telling his players to focus on their club football over winter, O’Neill revealed that he will be increasing his contact with his them ahead of friendlies this month against Slovakia and Switzerland and a final pre-Euros outing against the Netherlands on 27 May.

For the Dutch game in particular, O’Neill insists that he will have to carefully plan around the workload of his players, particularly those involved in the business end of England’s second tier.

“In the build-up to those matches and of course in the aftermath, I think it’s very important to keep close contact with the players,” O’Neill said.

“While I said that they were to focus on their club duties for two or three months now once those friendly games come into consideration everything after that is all go.

We have an opportunity to do a number of things (in the friendlies). We’ve obviously got the big game against Holland.

“Again it will depend then, a lot of Championship players who will be involved in the play-offs, it will be a long season for them.

“But then you have to take into consideration the players who will not be involved in the play-offs so I think there are a few things that we can still address between now and the end of May.”

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