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21st Nov 2018

Jon Walters praises Martin O’Neill in classy statement

Robert Redmond

Walters and O’Neill had a great relationship.

Jonathan Walters has praised Martin O’Neill after the Derry man left his post as the Republic of Ireland manager.

O’Neill and his assistant Roy Keane left their jobs on Wednesday morning after five years in charge of the Ireland team.

In that time, they helped the side reach the last-16 of Euro 2016 – beating Germany, Bosnia and Italy along the way.

Martin O’Neill is no longer the Republic of Ireland manager

However, the team’s form sharply declined over the last two years.

Ireland were hammered 5-1 by Denmark last November in the second leg of their World Cup play-off. Since that night, Ireland haven’t won a competitive game.

They finished bottom of their Uefa Nations League group and haven’t scored a goal in four games – the worst run in front of goal for the national team since 1996.

There were some great nights though, and Walters was central to many of O’Neill’s best moments.

He was the team’s talisman in qualification for Euro 2016 and was full of praise for his former manager when news of his departure broke.

Walters posted the message on Instagram:

He wrote:

“I didn’t expect Martin to leave as manager. Although we’ve had a very difficult year in terms of results, I’ll balance that with the amount of players that have just started their international career. I would’ve been very confident in qualifying under Martin and still am with the group of players we have. On a personal note I have the upmost respect for Martin as he is and always has been fantastic for me.”

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