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Ireland manager Martin O'Neill confirms he's signed a new deal with the FAI

The 65-year-old will continue in the job beyond this qualification campaign, it has been announced this evening.

Two more years: O'Neill has signed up.
Two more years: O'Neill has signed up.
Image: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

THE FAI HAS agreed a deal with Ireland manager Martin O’Neill to extend his stay up to 2020.

Ex-Leicester City and Celtic boss O’Neill had only hinted this afternoon that he would be interested in remaining in the position beyond this World Cup qualification campaign –whether the team made it to the finals in Russia or not.

After meeting with FAI chief executive John Delaney recently, the 65-year-old revealed that both parties were keen to sign a new contract, before adding that “there are exciting times ahead” with Dublin confirmed as one of the host cities for Euro 2020.

And this evening, the association confirmed the news via Twitter.

“I spoke to John [Delaney] very recently and he said that, on behalf of the board, they would like to extend my contract for another couple of years — obviously with the Euros coming up — and I’ve agreed to do so,” O’Neill said in an interview with FAI TV.

I’ve enjoyed it immensely. International football was something that I didn’t know whether I would get used to or not, but qualification for the Euros made it all worthwhile.

“With some younger players coming through and taking over from the old guard, who will retire naturally through old age as much as anything else, it is exciting times for us.”

The timing of the announcement comes as a surprise, on the eve of the first of two must-win matches. The Boys in Green, currently outside the qualification places, face Moldova at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow night before they travel to Cardiff for a showdown with Wales on Monday.

Only six points will give them any chance of earning a play-off spot, and even at that Ireland still need results in other groups to go their way to ensure they don’t finish as the bottom-placed runners-up.

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Ben Blake

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