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James McClean And Teammates React To O'Neill's Irish Departure

James McClean And Teammates React To O'Neill's Irish Departure
By Gavin Cooney

Martin O'Neill's Irish reign is over. After five years in charge, the Derryman left his post earlier today following a miserable 2018 in which Ireland won a single game - and that was a friendly game. The story broke in the English media last night, and an FAI statement confirming the news followed this morning. Martin O'Neill released a statement this afternoon thanking his staff, the FAI board the fans, and his players.

The praise for his players was reserved for the end of the statement. "To the players, I reserve great praise and admiration for the phenomenal commitment they have shown whilst wearing the Irish shirt".

Some of the players have responded with their own tributes to their now-former manager. James McClean posted his to Instagram, and disputed notions that O'Neill had a poor record in charge of Ireland. "Gutted to see the gaffer gone.. qualifying for euros beating Germany, last 16 at the euros, beating Italy, within one game of qualifying for world cup being 4th seeds... aye bad record ? thanks for everything gaffer".

Jon Walters - who so concisely picked apart the team's approach in what proved to be O'Neill's final game in charge - tweeted that he didn't expect O'Neill to leave, and said he has the "upmost respect" for O'Neill.

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David Meyler, who was captain for the 1-0 win Cardiff, the last good night under O'Neill's management, thanked O'Neill for giving him the opportunity to play for Ireland.

See Also: Brian Kerr: Spotlight Should Be On Disastrous FAI Decision-Making

See Also: 10 Candidates To Be The Next Ireland Manager

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