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O'Neill urges McClean to ignore country row

Sunderland manager feels that deleting his Twitter account was a good first step.

Ireland's James McClean has been the subject of abuse since his decision to play for the Republic.
Ireland's James McClean has been the subject of abuse since his decision to play for the Republic.
Image: Peter Morrison/AP/Press Association Images

SUNDERLAND MANAGER Martin O’Neill has warned James McClean he shouldn’t react to the continuing unrest surrounding his decision to declare for the Republic of Ireland and subsequent inclusion in the country’s Euro 2012 squad.

The 23-year-old, who was born in Derry, was subjected to a torrent of abuse earlier this season after announcing his intention to play for the Republic, despite making seven appearances for the Northern Ireland under-21s.

The row escalated this week when the Sunderland midfielder was forced to quit Twitter after receiving abuse following his selection by Giovanni Trapattoni for the Republic’s Euro 2012 campaign.

O’Neil said of McLean’s decision: “It didn’t exist in my time, the possibility of playing for either side, and that’s something James has done.

“He has been twittering and he has been doing that for some time. He has been given advice in closing the account down, so at least that’s gone.”

O’Neill went on to say that McClean should expect his decision to provoke a reaction but he should ignore the desire to retaliate.

“I am not so sure he should be reacting to the reactions. (I don’t know) whether it’s the end of it or not but at least the Twitter account has gone.”

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Steven O'Rourke

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