Former Sunderland bosses agree contract extensions with Ireland

Martin O'Neill during his time as Sunderland manager
Martin O'Neill during his time as Sunderland manager
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Former Sunderland managers Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane will lead the Republic of Ireland in their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign after extending their contracts with the FA of Ireland.

The pair fly to France tomorrow for the Euro 16 finals, with their future already assured, along with staff members Steve Guppy, Seamus McDonagh and Steve Walford, who were all part of O’Neill’s backroom team during his Stadium of Light reign from December 2011-March 2013..

O’Neill told www.fai.ie: “I am delighted that (chief executive) John Delaney and the FAI Board have extended our contracts for the World Cup campaign.

“It has been an absolute privilege to have been in charge of the Republic of Ireland national team these last 30 months, and we go to France tomorrow in good spirits with a strong desire to do well in the next few weeks.

“The players have done brilliantly in the campaign so far and they are ready for the big challenges ahead.”

Ireland meet Sweden in their Group E opener on Monday, before tackling Belgium (June 18) and Italy (June 22).