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O'Neill on the Leicester job, James McCarthy and whether he'll stick around after the Euros

The Ireland boss also commented on recent transfer news regarding James McCarthy.

Martin O'Neill says he was not interested in the recently vacant Leicester job.
Martin O'Neill says he was not interested in the recently vacant Leicester job.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

IRELAND BOSS MARTIN O’Neill says he never intended to leave his current role in favour of taking charge of Leicester, despite recent speculation linking him with the job.

While praising Leicester’s Premier League performance last season, he insists he always intended to honour his commitments to the Irish side.

“Leicester are a really good club,” he told RTÉ. “It may not be the club I was at before — I was manager at Filbert Street and they’ve since moved grounds. Their escape was absolutely fantastic and while there’s still a number of people at the club that I worked with before, it’s probably different.

“I have a commitment here and this is what I want to do. I can’t be thinking of a future that may or may not exist… I said that I would take the [Ireland] job until the end of our involvement in the Euros and then we would see after that.

“If I thought there was general progress with the side, I said I would look at it and see where we are.”

However, the 63-year-old manager was reluctant to confirm whether he would stay in the role beyond the Euros.

“I can’t look into the future. I want to see this competition through and of course, the draw for the World Cup seems an interminable time away.”

Speaking about this summer’s Irish-related transfer news, O’Neill expressed enthusiasm about James McClean’s West Brom move and was reluctant to say much about recent speculation linking James McCarthy with a big-money transfer.

“James McClean is obviously delighted. He has a chance to play in the Premier League again, and that’s great. It’ll give him a boost in confidence.

“The most important thing for me is that our players are playing as regularly as possible in the build-up to the games, and obviously as highly as possible.

Gavin Cooney
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“I don’t know if there’s anything to that [regarding McCarthy]… If he’s happy at Everton, then why [move].”

Originally published at 18.21

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