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Michael O’Neill on switching from international to club management

An interesting interview last night with Michael O’Neill by Radio Stoke’s Lee Blakeman, including this question on the big switch from international to club management.

O’Neill had been with Northern Ireland from 2011 until he joined Stoke in November.

He said: “It’s not that difficult at all. It would be much more difficult to go the other way from club management into international management. You want games as a manager so the only thing I had to adapt to was probably picking a team every three days sometimes and managing the players’ emotions over a much more regular basis.

“In terms of the preparation of the team, we brought a lot of the methods we had used at international football. We brought them to the club in terms of how we prepare the team.

“From that point of view, I haven’t found it that difficult at all. If anything international football is a little bit more tactical, certainly when you’re playing against the bigger nations, you have to prepare your team in a very specific way in a very short period of time.

“In club football you have regularity and it’s always easier to prepare your team week on week and then you see things embedded in your team. In international football you only have a handful of days and then you have to start again on page one a month later.”

Northern Ireland fans hold a Michael O’Neill banner during the Euro 2020 qualifier in Germany. (Image: PA Wire)

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