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<img src=’assets/img/Michael O’Neill.jpg’> Michael O’Neill
Gender Male
Ethnic xxxx
Job ex Northern Ireland Manager
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Org Northern Ireland National Team
Club as Coach Stoke City [Head Coach]

2015 10 11 Retrieve

[Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill’s one regret from the night that Northern Ireland qualified for UEFA EURO 2016] As soon as I stuck my thumb up, the Greeks scored. So that will never, ever happen again. It’s not in my make-up to be like that. The supporters were singing for me to give a wave. Personally, I hate that

2016 06 18 Retrieve

[Northern Ireland coach Michael O’Neill on his recruiting tactics] We are a country with less than 40 professional players to choose from. I’ve been everywhere looking for players: Fleetwood Town, Burton Albion, Doncaster, Luton, Morecambe. At times, it is not the most glamorous

2017 11 04 Retrieve

[Michael O’Neill speaks ahead of his nation’s two-legged World Cup qualifying play-off against Switzerland] We have a very humble squad. The Northern Ireland team has a great humility about it and players who have played from a young age together. We have a strong team spirit, a really good work ethic. We have some very good players, but our togetherness is our strength

2018 02 10 Retrieve

[Michael O’Neill speaking after signing a four-year contract extension] It would have been wonderful to go to the World Cup, no doubt about that, and this contract will give me the opportunity to have another go at that

2019 06 11 Retrieve

[Belarus v Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland could keep their 100% Euro 2020 Qualifying record intact and stay atop Group C with a win over rock-bottom Belarus at the Borisov Arena] It was a difficult game in Belfast [against Belarus]. I thought we had a lot of control of the game and then we gave away a slightly unfortunate goal after we had gone ahead and whilst we always felt that we could win the game we had to go virtually until the last few minutes to do it.

As Estonia showed the other night, Belarus will look at this as a game they can potentially take points from and with that in mind I think it will be an extremely difficult match. Mentally we’re in a good place because we won the last game, the mental tiredness is not the same, so that should be the key factor for us. We’re looking forward to the game and we’ve everything to gain by trying to go out and get another three points.

[Northern Ireland are not so lucky, and the magnitude of taking maximum points from the first four games is not lost on O’Neill] A win [against Belarus] means that all of the next four games have huge significance. It really means that you will go into the last two games, game seven and eight, with a chance of qualification regardless of what happens in between and that’s the significance

2019 09 08 Retrieve

[Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill has welcomed comparisons between Steven Davis and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo. The Rangers midfielder is set to earn his 113th international cap on Monday] I think it’s a great achievement. He pestered me all week to get five minutes against Luxembourg, and I eventually wilted under the pressure. Last night I was watching Cristiano Ronaldo play at 34 years of age for his country and what it means to him, and that’s why international football is so special. Steven deserves to be talked about in that breath because I believe he will go on and break Pat Jennings’ record. Any player who amasses over a hundred caps at international level, that has played and been available for as long as Steven for every game barring a few that he’s missed through injury, is a fantastic role model for all international footballers. He is still as effective at this level as he was when I took the job seven years ago. He’s had a magnificent career at both club and international level. When he ever does hang up his boots, which hopefully will be after I’ve left this job, he will rightly be remembered as one of the greatest players we’ve ever had

2019 11 22 Retrieve

[Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill was puzzled as to how Serge Gnabry was deemed not good enough for the Baggies and wasn’t given enough chances to break through at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger] Gnabry’s goalscoring record is phenomenal. It’s a mystery to me how English clubs didn’t get more out of him. I’d be surprised if this Germany team doesn’t make a big impact

2019 12 27 Interview

[Michael O’Neill on the supporters, James McClean, and the relegation situation. Q: How’s the blood pressure Michael?] It was tested today, let’s just say. It was a great way to win a game, you wouldn’t want to be going through that every week. It’s days like today when you look back on the season and maybe say it was a bit of a turning point

I thought we deserved to win the game, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that, but we put ourselves in a difficult position again which is something we have a little bit of a habit of doing. But the character of the players was immense and the atmosphere in the stadium was fantastic as well

[Q: You made two inspired substitutions?] Yeah, you roll the dice at that time. We felt when we put Ty (Campbell) on he was the right option at that time

Lee Gregory had put a huge amount of work in for the team and Ty is a great finisher and he’s shown that this week, particularly in training

Sam Vokes was only passed fit this morning. He missed training yesterday and the day before because of an illness

So great for him because when you come here with the big reputation Sam’s had, and people are expecting you to score goals, and maybe it just hasn’t gone as he’d have liked, every goal’s important and maybe that can build his confidence because he has a lot to offer

The subs, it’s great when they work, but I thought today there was so many positives in the performance. Obviously Ryan (Shawcross) being back. McClean, again, I thought was magnificent. James, really, I had ruled him out after the Middlesbrough game, but James being James came in

Some players at this time of year don’t mind having a niggle, but James made sure he did everything possible to be able to play and he showed that today

Every time he stretched his hamstring I thought we were going to have to take him off, but again he goes the 90 minutes and epitomises all the good characteristics in the dressing room.

[Q: It’s Fulham away next?] Yes. We’ve just played the third in the league and Fulham were in the top six, so it will be difficult and away from home. We have two away games now, can we pick points up? We’ll not be back here until January 11 and if we can add points to what we have now… then we have a massive game here against Millwall

Today was important because without knowing too much about it, clearly over the last couple of seasons maybe the relationship between the team and the fans has not been great and we have to re-build that

There’s a responsibility on us, the players and the staff, because the fans will play a massive part in the remaining 22 games this season and if you can send them away like today, then I know the benefit of that.

It was a very similar situation with Northern Ireland and it took us a long time to win, but when we did and got that atmosphere in the stadium we felt we were capable of beating anyone and that’s something we want to re-create here because they’ve had that here in the past

[Q: You’re now out of the bottom three?] Yes, but I haven’t focused much on the league table. I think it’s good psychologically for the players, but the main thing for me is to get that consistency, confidence and momentum into the team

That nine games we’ve had, we’ve won four, we’ve lost four and drawn one, so that’s relatively decent form in the Championship. But the games we lost, on two or three occasions we could have possibly taken something from them

[Q: Any injuries heading to Fulham?] I’m sure James will be fine. It’s going to take a lot to stop him playing. He crashed into a tackle there at the end as well and still managed to take the corner. Him and Sam Clucas have been our major worries. Sam Clucas has had to be nursed since I came in after injuring his foot in the Barnsley game and he’s still carrying that injury. You saw the incident with the penalty, it was on that injury. They are two very important players for us and we have to make sure they are fit because they’ve contributed an awful lot since I came in

[Q: James gets some hard treatment of away fans?] James is pretty thick skinned, so there’s no concerns about that, and you want people in the trenches with you and he’s certainly one of those you want in the trenches with you

2020 04 22 Retrieve

[Michael O’Neill steps down from from Northern Ireland job] After careful consideration and following discussions with the Irish FA, I feel it is only fair that now is the right time for me to step aside. I would have loved the opportunity to manage Northern Ireland in the Euro 2020 play-off game versus Bosnia-Herzegovina and the chance to qualify for another major tournament, but the current situation means that this is no longer possible. It was important to leave the association and team in the strongest possible shape in order to not only have the best chance of qualifying for Euro 2021, but allow the new manager time to build upon the success that we have had during my eight-year tenure

It has been an honour and an enormous privilege to have had the opportunity to manage my country and I will treasure my time as manager of Northern Ireland forever. Throughout my time here, I have been fortunate to have worked with many great coaching, medical and support staff who have all contributed to our successes and shared in some great moments. As for my players, past and present, I would like to thank them all for an overwhelming level of commitment and professionalism that has helped to deliver so many unforgettable highs and great experiences for us all

2020 06 09 Retrieve

[Man Utd friendly called off at last minute after Stoke boss O’Neill tests positive for coronavirus] Stoke City can confirm that manager [Michael O’Neill](michael-o-neill.html) has tested positive for the Covid-19 virus following the latest round of testing on Monday (June 8). O’Neill had tested negative in the previous five rounds of testing. He will now follow the relevant guidance and undergo a period of isolation, whilst continuing to be in regular virtual contact with his coaching staff and players. Assistant manager Billy McKinlay will take charge of training as the Potters prepare for their game against Reading on June 20. The Club will be making no further comment on this matter

Everyone knows that we will have to be at our best, have to be focused against Tottenham. We know it’s a big game for everyone. We had Chelsea when we started the league this season so I’m confident that our players can go into the Tottenham game with that mentality of going there to play a very good game of football. Training has been about recapping what we did well, tweaking maybe one or two things and looking at some new ideas, but hopefully we can see a lot of what we saw towards the end before the lockdown

2020 06 10 Retrieve

[One new positive coronavirus case confirmed by the Premier League] Stoke City can confirm that manager [Michael O’Neill](michael-o-neill.html) has tested positive for the Covid-19 virus following the latest round of testing on Monday (June 8). O’Neill had tested negative in the previous five rounds of testing. He will now follow the relevant guidance and undergo a period of isolation, whilst continuing to be in regular virtual contact with his coaching staff and players. Assistant manager Billy McKinlay will take charge of training as the Potters prepare for their game against Reading on June 20. The Club will be making no further comment on this matter

2020 06 27 Retrieve

[Neil Warnock enjoyed a perfect return to management as Middlesbrough swept aside fellow Championship strugglers Stoke 2-0] We just made things too difficult for ourselves too often. We knew what to expect from Neil’s team beforehand but we struggled to deal with them

We’re in a situation now, too close to the bottom three, but I’ve never thought the job was done here. I don’t think we’ve been more than three points above the bottom three all season. Results like this brings that situation right into sharp focus for everyone again

2020 06 30 Retrieve

[Wigan made it nine matches unbeaten, and seven clean sheets in a row, with a 3-0 thumping of Championship strugglers Stoke] It was a poor performance, poor attitude for the game, poor appetite for the game. Clearly the hungrier side won, the better team won. It’s probably the worst performance we’ve had since I’ve been here and a real concern given where we are at this stage of the season. All we can do is continue to work with the players, this is the group of players we have

Do we change the system to keep us more solid defensively and give us a bit more of a threat? But tonight we were just second best all over the pitch and that’s just an individual thing. You have to have the courage to play, and you have to have respect for your team-mates and your club to play. We didn’t show any of that tonight. I can’t take any positives out of that, none. I thought Sam Vokes was our best player, but in terms of a supporting cast, there was very little

2020 07 04 Retrieve

[Stoke climbed out of the relegation zone after a thumping 4-0 win over fellow strugglers Barnsley] Tyrese is a great finisher. If you are a good finisher you have to get in the positions and he did that today. He’s not looked the same since he came back, but today he was excellent and did a lot of good work

He is a young player who is still developing. When he is in that mood, defenders are frightened at this level. It’s nice he got the two goals, but he has to keep going now. I am delighted with the result. We had the right intensity in our play, that was the message we hammered home during the week

2020 07 12 Retrieve

[Stoke eased their relegation worries with a comfortable 2-0 win over fellow strugglers Birmingham] I don’t feel we are there yet. We have to get as much as we can out of the final three games, but it’s nice to get to a point where you think another result will be enough. It is about trying to win the next game and if we do that we will put even more distance between us and the other teams and that is our objective

Today was a good performance and we hope for that in the remaining three games. We have worked hard on set-pieces and it was good to get another goal from one today. We still have to work on it and improve on them, but we always look a threat at corners

2020 07 15 Retrieve

[Stoke inched towards Championship safety with a 1-1 draw at Ashton Gate that did little for Bristol City’s play-off prospects] It goes a long way (to safety) but it does not make it mathematically certain. We are not getting carried away but it was the least we deserved. We won’t be celebrating. We will be relieved and make sure that it does not happen again for a club of this size. We have had a difficult season in the Championship, so going forward we have to make sure it is not repeated again next season