Martin O’Neill: Republic of Ireland manager to discuss future

Benedict Allen, pictured in 2016
The Republic of Ireland have now failed to reach the last four World Cups

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill will speak to the country’s football association about his future after failing to reach the World Cup.

The Republic were trounced 5-1 by Denmark in the play-offs.

In October, O’Neill and assistant Roy Keane agreed contract extensions to remain until the Euro 2020 campaign.

“I thought there was an agreement. I’ll speak to [FAI chief] John Delaney – I’ve not spoken to him since we spoke about the new contract,” said O’Neill.

O’Neill and Keane were appointed in November 2013 after the departure of previous boss Giovanni Trapattoni.

They guided the Republic to Euro 2016, losing to France in the last 16.

‘Convincingly beaten’

Defender Shane Duffy gave the Republic – who last played at a World Cup in 2002 – an early lead, but Denmark hit back through Cyrus Christie’s own goal, Christian Eriksen’s superb hat-trick and Nicklas Bendtner’s late penalty.

“I am really disappointed,” said O’Neill. “We were well beaten in the end after a good start.

“We could have made it 2-0 but the two goals we conceded in the space of a couple of minutes knocked us for six. They were very poor goals and turned the tide.

“We were chasing the game and needed goals to get back into the game but as we were trying to press, Denmark took advantage. They deserved to go through after beating us convincingly.”

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O’Neill riled by ‘luck’ question

Former Leicester and Celtic manager O’Neill’s style of play has often been criticised, and his side scored three or more goals in a single game just once in their 12 qualifying and play-off matches.

Southampton striker Shane Long, who has scored 17 international goals, started both legs of the play-off on the bench, and the Republic had just 28% possession in the first match.

O’Neill – a two-time European Cup winner as a player who has won nine major trophies in management – took exception to being asked if his luck had run out because of his cautious approach.

“That is simply not true,” he said, adding he had not won the “trophies that I have won both as a player and manager” because of luck.

“I don’t agree with our luck running out, it was a commendable effort by the team. They are technically better than us and had a world-class player [Eriksen] in their team.”

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