O’Neill pon­ders fu­ture as boss

Evening Telegraph (First Edition) - - Uk World Today -

MARTIN O’Neill said he would need to have “a real think” about his fu­ture af­ter the Re­pub­lic of Ire­land saw their World Cup hopes left in ru­ins.

Tot­ten­ham mid­fielder Chris­tian Erik­sen ended Ire­land’s play-off bid i n bru­tal fash­ion with a hat-trick as the Danes raced to a 5-1 play-off sec­ond-leg vic­tory in Dublin, fol­low­ing the goal­less draw in Copen­hagen.

Re­pub­lic boss O’Neill had been crit­i­cised for a per­ceived neg­a­tive ap­proach in the first leg but he saw a more ex­pan­sive ap­proach cost his side dearly af­ter they had taken an early lead.

He said: “I’m re­ally dis­ap­pointed, ob­vi­ously, we were well beaten in the end. We got off to a re­ally good start and had a chance maybe to make it 2-0 and we prob­a­bly needed that.

“But the two goals we con­ceded in a cou­ple of min­utes knocked us for six.”

O’Neill and his coach­ing team have ver­bally agreed con­tract ex­ten­sions with the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion of Ire­land, with their ex­ist­ing deals ef­fec­tively ex­pired.

But asked if the re­sult would have any ef­fect on his i mme­di­ate fu­ture, O’Neill said: “Do you know what? I’ll have to have a real think about it.”

Shane Duffy headed the Re­pub­lic into a sixth-minute lead but a Cyrus Christie own goal and Erik­sen’s first in­side three min­utes turned the game on its head.

The Spurs player grabbed two more af­ter the break be­fore sub­sti­tute Nick­las Bendt­ner slot­ted home a last-minute penalty.

Re­pub­lic of Ire­land man­ager Martin O’Neill.

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