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'I am ready to go' - Martin O'Neill says that he is keen to return to management

'I am ready to go' - Martin O'Neill says that he is keen to return to management

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The former Celtic and Aston Villa boss has been linked with the vacant Republic of Ireland managerial post and says that he is ready to make a return to football

Martin O'Neill has revealed that he has not been contacted by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) but admitted that he is keen to return to football management.

The former Celtic and Aston Villa boss is the favourite to succeed Giovanni Trapattoni as manager of the Boys in Green after the Italian parted ways with the FAI by "mutual consent" following consecutive defeats against Sweden and Austria, which effectively ended Irish hopes of World Cup qualification.

Reading manager Brian McDermott revealed his "immense pride" at being linked with the job, but ruled himself out of the running, while Norwich City boss Chris Hughton stressed that he was happy at Carrow Road, leaving O'Neill as the prime candidate for the role.

However, the former Northern Ireland international said that there had been no contact from the FAI but said that he was "ready to go".

"I'd like to put it there I've had no contact from [the FAI] and there's not much more I can say about it," O'Neill told the BBC.

"I've had time for reflection, but am I in a state of equanimity, a state of composure? Am I of composed mind? No, I think I'm ready to go," quipped the former Sunderland boss.

O'Neill, who has been out of a job since being relieved of his duties as manager of the Black Cats in March 2013, noted the differences between managing a club and managing an international team.

"International management is like tournament football condensed into a few weeks, you're not going to be able to do an awful lot with the players," he said. "What you can do is get organisation in, work on set-pieces, which are a big part of the game. You're praying that all your best players turn up.

"It's [about] the winning of football games. I don't think any international manager has to concern himself with a long-term future.

"If he's part of something that he sets up, well and good, but he has to win football matches."

Meanwhile, Celtic striker Anthony Stokes is hopeful that he can earn a call-up to the Ireland squad now that Trapattoni is no longer manager.

The 25-year-old has picked up just four caps for his country and revealed that he would "love" to make a return to the international fold under a new regime.

"I hope so. I have said since I have been left out the squads that I would love to be back in," he told reporters.

"It's not down to me. I would love to be involved in the set-up but I am just concentrating on my club football and hopefully when a new manager comes in and I am still performing well, maybe I will get my opportunity."

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