The FAI are reportedly set to offer Martin O’Neill a new two-year contract even if Ireland fail to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Having guided Ireland to Euro 2016 in France and put in a respectable performance in that very tournament, 12 months ago, Martin O’Neill was the darling of Irish supporters.
However, after a dismal run of results in recent months, Ireland’s World Cup qualifying campaign now seems to be in tatters with few believing that the Boys in Green have any real chance of making it to Russia.
O’Neill’s current deal expires at the end of the current qualification campaign and in recent weeks, in particular, Irish fans have seemingly turned on the Derry man. There have been issues with his team selection and tactical approach but, more than anything else, there have been issues with the results.
Ireland now need to beat both Moldova and Wales to stand any real chance of making the playoffs and even at that, the list of potential opponents makes for worrying reading as Ireland would likely be unseeded if that scenario arose.
Dreams of Russia now seem like a distant memory but, according to the Times, O’Neill will be handed a contract extension nonetheless.
Yet even if Ireland do finish outside the play off places, a senior FAI source made it plainly clear yesterday that the ten-man board consider the O’Neill-Keane partnership to be a ticket to success. – The Times