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Stoke make official approach to the IFA for Michael O’Neill

Phil Egan
Phil Egan

12:06 7 Nov 2019


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Stoke City have asked the Irish Football Association for permission to speak to Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill.

The Championship's bottom club are on the lookout for a new manager after sacking Nathan Jones last week.

Former Republic of Ireland international Rory Delap was in charge on Monday night for the 2-0 home defeat to West Brom.

O'Neill said during the week that he was "flattered" to be linked with the vacant Stoke job but insisted his full focus is on Northern Ireland.

Speaking ahead of the Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Netherlands and Germany, O'Neill said: "It is always flattering. It is better to be linked than not linked, let's be honest.

"But it is not a distraction for me. It is something that has been ongoing for a number of years, and the focus has been on preparing for next week's games.

"As I have always said, if and when a situation arises, then you look at that scenario at that moment in time. But right now, my focus is obviously on the two games that lie ahead."

The former Shamrock Rovers boss has been in charge of Northern Ireland for eight years.

O'Neill guided them to a last 16 place at Euro 2016 and narrowly missed out on a place at the 2018 World Cup.

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