In his own words . . .

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SOCCER -

Martin O’Neill on sug­ges­tions he is in­clined to­wards the long ball . . .

I don’t re­mem­ber play­ing the prover­bial ‘long ball’ at As­ton Villa. We were a counter-at­tack­ing side be­cause we had pace to burn . . . I would have said that that As­ton Villa side was a re­ally, re­ally fine side; which I made.

Prag­ma­tism and play­ers . . .

When I came into this job your over­rid­ing am­bi­tion, ob­vi­ously, is to qual­ify for some com­pe­ti­tions and if we are not com­fort­able in be­ing able to get the ball down and pass it, which is what you want to do, then you have to find ways of stay­ing in games and win­ning some foot­ball matches.

Claims his play­ers are un­sure of their roles be­cause he names teams late . . .

That’s non­sense. To­tal non­sense. I’ve done it for years (but) the Celtic play­ers knew ex­actly what they were sup­posed to do. Ask the Le­ices­ter play­ers, they knew their jobs inside out. The play­ers here know their jobs. I’m telling you: they know their jobs.

Root­ing for Ty­rone in the All Ire­land . . .

I heav­ily love the GAA (Gaelic foot­ball). It’s taken a bit of a ham­mer­ing at the minute in terms of tac­tics but this Dublin side can con­sider them­selves one of the finest ever to have played the game, there’s no doubt about that. Ob­vi­ously, I’ll be cheer­ing on Ty­rone, though. Derry and Ty­rone don’t like each other but they’re in Ul­ster and I’m es­sen­tially an Ul­ster man.

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