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O'Neill plays down Aberdeen links

Michael O'Neill
Michael O'Neill

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill insists his "focus" is on his current role amid links to the vacant Aberdeen job.

The Pittodrie club are searching for their fifth manager in three years after interim boss Neil Warnock suddenly stepped aside earlier this month.

Reports have suggested O'Neill, 54, could be in the frame for the position - which he attributes to his attendance at a recent Dons match and his residence in Scotland.

On being linked to the job, he said: "This is something that is probably a result of me living in Scotland and me recently going to the St Mirren game.

"When I left Aberdeen were winning 1-0, when I got to the car they'd been beaten 2-1. I had nothing to do with that, either," he laughed.

"I've said all along, when you commit to a contract it doesn't mean that you'll see it out, but it means there's commitment on both sides, which there is from myself and the IFA [Irish Football Association].

"When I left my initial contract to go to Stoke City, the IFA had to be compensated for that, which they were. Everyone was happy with that arrangement. Who's to say that won't happen again?

"But at this minute in time, I have to focus on the job that I'm in and I have to do a good job. I'm 12 months into it, and I need to win more games than I've won in the 12 months and that's where my focus is."