Football

Chris Sutton Vehemently Defends Martin O'Neill's Ireland Record

Chris Sutton Vehemently Defends Martin O'Neill's Ireland Record

Similar to many within the British media, Chris Sutton has argued that Martin O'Neill had very little to work with during his time as Ireland manager.

Sutton, who played for O'Neill at Celtic, defended the 66-year-old on BBC Radio 5 Live when it was suggested by New York Times football writer Rory Smith that Nottingham Forest fans may be worried about the style of football Ireland played.

O'Neill is expected to be named as the new Nottingham Forest manager later today.

Chris Sutton: What do you expect Ireland to do? To start going out and play a big expansive game and lose five or six or seven nil? That would have been madness.

He was a realist. He set them up to not get beat. Who's going to score a goal for Ireland? Name the Irish strikers! They don't play Premier League football.

Ian Wright and Rory Smith: Shane Long

Chris Sutton: Well... look at his goal record.

Mark Chapman: He scored on Saturday.

Chris Sutton: If that's it, if that's your best... Dear oh, dear.

Rory Smith: Chris, no one is debating that Ireland has a wonderful sort of Spanish-style talent pool but you can have a limited pool of players and get them to play above themselves and O'Neill didn't.

Chris Sutton: You're talking fantasy football. No, he went in and he was a realist. He worked with the resources at Ireland which he had. I'm not saying that he tore up trees but he got them to Euro 2016. He did well.

Things eased off and the argument which I do accept is, did he get the most out of those players in the latter stages? Maybe not but I'm not having all this stuff that Martin O'Neill is a dinosaur and the players don't know their jobs.

You can watch Chris Sutton defending O'Neill below.

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See Also: 'Let Me Speak With Brendan' - Yaya Toure Open To Possible Celtic Move

PJ Browne
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