in

O’Neill eager to return to management

Martin O’Neill says he is ready to return to management, and that he has no need to “recharge his batteries”.

The 66-year-old left his role as Republic of Ireland manager last month, and insists that he still has “things to do in this game”.

“That drive, the determination, is there,” the former Celtic manager said, in quotes reported by Sky Sports.

“I hate that phrase ‘recharge my batteries’. I don’t need to. I’m ready. I know I’m a good manager and I will always back myself, in whatever job I take next.

“There’s a perception now that I’m not only too old, but that I’m on the outside looking in. There’s an age element to it, but people also believe you’ve closed your mind to things. It couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’ve still got things to do in this game. My mind remains open.”

O’Neill also defended Jose Mourinho, despite claiming to be far from “an apologist for Mourinho”.

“I remember Chelsea players talking about (Jose) Mourinho and how well prepared he was, how everything was dossiered. It wasn’t too long ago that he won the league – and don’t forget he won a couple of trophies at Old Trafford – that he was the way forward. And I’m not an apologist for Mourinho. Far from it.

“There’s always a new kid on the block but, to be told these things are supposedly dated now, well, I’d probably feel the same irritation. You can be labelled so quickly in this game.”

YBIG SHOP 300*250

WATCH: Obafemi scores first Premier League goal

Breen criticizes McCarthy’s pursuit of Redmond