Republic of Ireland: Martin O'Neill wants contract extension

Shane Duffy

Shane Duffy scored his first international goal against Georgia. Source James Crombie INPHO

O'Neill has been in his job since November 2013 and guided Ireland to the Euro 2016 finals last summer, in the process earning a contract extension.

Sources within the FAI had suggested in August that no deal would be hammered out between the 65 year old and the association until this campaign ended.

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"I don't think today is the day to discuss it, but I must admit that with some of the Euros games in Dublin, I think there are exciting times ahead".

The timing, with this campaign not even over yet and qualification still very much up in the air, looks odd on the surface but it does show the faith that John Delaney and the FAI have in their man.

"And we've looked at the fact there's some young players coming through".

As for assistant boss Keane, he has previously spoken of returning to club management, but O'Neill believes the former Manchester United captain is happy to stay with the national team.

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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 Russian Federation or not.

We have qualified for one competition and I think season tickets have gone from 4,000 to 16,000 so I think there is some evidence we are doing okay.

I suppose one out of one isn't so bad!

They must win at home to Moldova on Friday and away to Wales on Monday and hope results elsewhere go to way just to reach the play-offs.

The prospect of a winner-takes-all showdown with a Wales team lacking injured forward Gareth Bale may be an enticing one, but it was one O'Neill simply will not allow himself to consider just yet.

"All of those things, he has continued to bring and I couldn't ask any more of him".

"This is it: we must win tomorrow night".

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