Michael O’Neill appointed Stoke City boss but will see out Euro 2020 qualifying campaign

Stoke City and Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill

Northern Ireland are disappointed to lose Michael O’Neill to Stoke City, but he would oversee a potential Euro 2020 play-off in a dual role.

Michael O’Neill has been appointed as Stoke City’s new manager but will temporarily continue in his previous role as Northern Ireland boss.

Stoke, a Premier League club 18 months ago, are bottom of the Championship with just eight points from 15 matches.

Nathan Jones was sacked last week, but the Potters’ poor form continued with a 2-0 home defeat to West Brom under the caretaker charge of former player Rory Delap.

Stoke have now agreed a deal for O’Neill ahead of a clash with fellow strugglers Barnsley, yet he will take on a dual role initially.

The Irish Football Association confirmed O’Neill would oversee Northern Ireland’s remaining two Euro 2020 qualifiers and any subsequent play-off matches.

Irish FA chief executive Patrick Nelson said: “We reluctantly agreed to allow Stoke to talk to Michael after they met the compensation requirements. Michael has now agreed terms with the Championship club.

“Naturally, we are extremely disappointed that Michael is leaving us.

“However, we are delighted all parties have agreed Michael will be in charge of the Northern Ireland team for the games against Netherlands and Germany and potential Euro 2020 play-off matches next March.”

Northern Ireland are third in their qualification group, three points behind leaders Netherlands and second-placed Germany – their final two opponents.

O’Neill has signed a three-and-a-half year contract with Stoke.

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