Martin O'Neill insists he's 'delighted' to continue with Ireland in tense Tony O'Donoghue interview

Martin O’Neill has said he’s "delighted" to continue as Republic of Ireland manager as he turns his sights to getting revenge against Denmark in the inaugural UEFA Nationas League next autumn, writes Stephen Barry.

O’Neill was in Switzerland for the draw which pitted Ireland against familiar foes Denmark and Wales, having signed a two-year contract extension with the FAI last night.

However, O’Neill had another tense exchange with RTÉ’s Tony O’Donoghue while doing the media rounds as they spoke about the period of reflection which followed Ireland's 5-1 defeat to the Danes.

"I think you need a bit of reflection, don’t you? A wee bit of reflection. John and I, we took a bit of time. The FAI wanted me to stay on and I was delighted to do so. Delighted to do so," said O’Neill.

When O’Donoghue asked about the overall reaction to the defeat, O’Neill replied: "I thought you just asked me that question before. I thought I’d answered it."

As O’Donoghue clarified the question, O’Neill simply replied: "Everyone to their own."

O’Neill also spoke about the draw to Sky Sports News, saying, "It’s déjà vu for us.

"We beat Wales to qualify for the play-offs and then we got Denmark, who beat us in the play-offs and beat us convincingly in the second game. We all know each other pretty well.

"It’s still fresh in the memory so we want to try to avenge that."

O’Neill believes that the Nations League won’t be used so much to try new players, putting a greater emphasis on upcoming friendlies against Turkey and France to achieve that.

"Friendly games over the last few years became important but, after all, they were friendly matches.

"There is competition attached to this and I think it’s important as there is promotion and relegation and all of those things affect the possible placings for qualifying.

"At the end of it all, I’m in total agreement with it [the Nations League]. Once I found out what the rules were all about, it was great.

"We’ve got some friendly games coming up now, we’ve a game in March and I think that’s the time for us to experiment and try to bring some of the younger players through.

"We’ve got at least one game against France at the end of May and the possibility of another [friendly] game. In those matches you use that sort of opportunity.

"The games in September, October and November have a significance all of their own so I think the experimentation might have to disappear."

By Stephen Barry

Most Read in Sport