Scotland job rejected as Martin O'Neill opts to stay put

Scotland job rejected as Martin O'Neill opts to stay put

Michael O'Neill's decision to reject the offer to become the new Scotland manager gets the support of former Northern Ireland defender Stephen Craigan.

However, despite living in Edinburgh, O'Neill has decided against succeeding Gordon Strachan and will instead remain in charge of Northern Ireland who, like Scotland, failed to qualify for this year's World Cup.

Craigan believes O'Neill's emotional attachment to the Northern Ireland job was a key factor in turning down the move.

O'Neill now appears poised to sign an improved contract, the Irish Football Association having offered him a deal which runs until 2024.

However, O'Neill announced on Monday that he had made a decision to remain in his current post rather than mastermind Scotland's bid for a place at Euro 2020.

He said: "The Board of the Scottish FA appointed a sub-committee to oversee the recruitment process, compile a list of suitable candidates and ultimately make a recommendation".

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By seeking the Irish FA's permission to speak to O'Neill in November the SFA chief executive Stewart Regan put all his eggs in one basket. It...

"I would like to place on record my gratitude to the SFA for the very professional manner in which they conducted negotiations and I would like to wish them every success for the future".

"Michael and his advisers met our delegation in Edinburgh on Thursday and discussed all aspects of the role during a three-hour meeting", he said.

Strachan resigned after Scotland missed out on qualification for the 2018 World Cup, while Northern Ireland fell agonisingly short a month later - going down to a 1-0 aggregate loss in a play-off versus Switzerland.

O'Neill admitted in December that heby the public nature of the SFA's approach for his services.

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