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Martin O Neill © Getty Images

Ireland manager extends contract

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has agreed a two-year contract extension with the national side that will keep him in charge until 2020, he said on Thursday.

O'Neill, has enjoyed a successful spell after succeeding Italian coach Giovanni Trapattoni in 2013.

The former Leicester City and Aston Villa manager steered his side to the European Championship finals last year where they were beaten by host nation France in the knockout stages.

It was enough to reward the Northern Irishman with an extension until after the World Cup in Russia next year.

Ahead of their crucial World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Wales, the 65-year-old told a news conference he has accepted a deal from the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) on a new extension through to Euro 2020.

"I think there are exciting times ahead for us with some younger players coming through. I wasn't sure I would get used to international football, but qualification for the Euros made it all worthwhile," he said.

"I think there is much to look forward to. We qualified for a competition and I think season tickets have gone from 4 000 to 16 000, so I think there is some evidence we are doing okay.

"We're still in the mix and one out of one (qualifying) at this minute is not too bad."

Local media reported that assistant coach Roy Keane has agreed a similar extension.


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