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Sep 17, 2013

FAI chief praises Martin O'Neill

FAI chief executive John Delaney has offered a glowing endorsement of Martin O'Neill as speculation mounts that he is set to be named as the next Republic of Ireland head coach.

O'Neill targets Ireland job
Delaney: Trap's tumultuous reign

Later this week, FAI officials are set to hold a board meeting to consider their options following the sacking of Giovanni Trapattoni.

Sources have told ESPN that former Celtic and Sunderland boss O'Neill is the outstanding candidate for the post.

Delaney said there had been "a lot of interest in the position" since Trapattoni's departure, and his comments suggest O'Neill is well-placed to land the role.

"I have no problem saying that Martin O'Neill has been a terrific manager in his career, a terrific man and I admire him very, very much," he said.

"But I wouldn't comment on Martin O'Neill or any other person as to whether they will be the next Ireland manager, because that would be unfair.

"We are in a process. I would love today to be announcing whoever the new manager is if that were possible, but it's not.

"It will take a little bit of time, given the fact that the board of the FAI have yet to meet. We will look at the job description, who has applied and then the process as to how to appoint."

Meanwhile, Delaney said he would "have no trouble" working with Roy Keane if he emerged as a candidate, with Paul McGrath among those backing the claims of the former Manchester United skipper.

"It's not a question of whether I could [work with Keane]," Delaney said. "Saipan [when Keane walked out on Mick McCarthy’s Ireland squad] is gone now, and people have to forget about it.

"To be fair to him, he gets asked about it, which is why he comments. I will work with whoever is presented to us to make Irish football great.

"No personality issues that may have been there in the past should stop people working together for the sake of Irish football."

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