Martin O’Neill’s contract extension raises stakes for Republic of Ireland

• O’Neill to continue for Euro 2020 campaign regardless of World Cup fate
• Ireland face Moldova on Friday and Wales on Monday in decisive qualifiers

The Republic of Ireland have raised the stakes of the final two matches of their qualifying campaign by pledging their future to Martin O’Neill. In advance of pivotal World Cup games against Moldova and Wales the Football Association of Ireland announced the manager and his assistant Roy Keane would continue for the Euro 2020 qualifiers, without knowing whether he will succeed in reaching Russia 2018.

O’Neill said on Thursday he believed there were “exciting times ahead”, yet the extension of his tenure, which began in November 2013, will not be universally welcomed. The one good thing about the way Ireland’s form has sagged throughout this qualification campaign is that there is scant risk of complacency when they host Moldova on Friday. Victory against the country ranked 156th in the world would more than likely make the showdown in Cardiff on Monday a duel with Wales for the Group D runner‑up spot but, bearing in mind Ireland have not mustered a competitive win this year, no one is taking that scenario for granted.

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• O’Neill to continue for Euro 2020 campaign regardless of World Cup fate• Ireland face Moldova on Friday and Wales on Monday in decisive qualifiersThe Republic of Ireland have raised the stakes of the final two matches of their qualifying campaign by pledging their future to Martin O’Neill. In advance of pivotal World Cup games against Moldova and Wales the Football Association of Ireland announced the manager and his assistant Roy Keane would continue for the Euro 2020 qualifiers, without knowing whether he will succeed in reaching Russia 2018.O’Neill said on Thursday he believed there were “exciting times ahead”, yet the extension of his tenure, which began in November 2013, will not be universally welcomed. The one good thing about the way Ireland’s form has sagged throughout this qualification campaign is that there is scant risk of complacency when they host Moldova on Friday. Victory against the country ranked 156th in the world would more than likely make the showdown in Cardiff on Monday a duel with Wales for the Group D runner‑up spot but, bearing in mind Ireland have not mustered a competitive win this year, no one is taking that scenario for granted. Continue reading…

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/05/ireland-world-cup-moldova-martin-o-neill

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