US Newspapers – Mcauley says northern ireland future depends on boss o'neill

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US Newspapers – Mcauley says northern ireland future depends on boss o’neill
Published 0817 EST, 12 November 2017 Updated 0817 EST, 12 November 2017 Gareth McAuley has hinted that his plans for international retirement will hinge on the future of Northern Ireland boss Michael ONeill. McAuley has become a key part of ONeills success in recent years after enduring some miserable times under his predecessors. The West Brom centreback turns 38 next month and will assess his future with Northern Ireland if their World Cup dream ends in Switzerland on Sunday. Gareth McAuley in action for Northern Ireland against Switzerland in their World Cup playoff 37yearold defender McAuley says his international future hinges on manager Michael ONeillMcAuley is keeping an open mind but admits that a major factor could be ONeill leaving to take up a job in club management. He said What I do probably has a lot to do with what Michael does and what happens after this campaign. Michael gets linked with all the jobs going. Its a difficult one. There will be clubs looking at him and seeing what he has done with us over the last few years. If Michael was to move on and get a club job, it would be a consideration of mine as to what I would do going forward into another qualifying campaign. Michael ONeill has been linked with other jobs after his success with Northern Ireland McAuley applauds the Windsor Park crowd after their 10 first leg loss to Switzerland last weekI need to make sure Im playing regular football to even consider coming away to play international football. As I say, there are obviously other factors involved that will possibly come to light and would be a factor in me deciding what I want to do. But I would like to be available to play. McAuley made his international debut in June 2005 at the age of 25, but does not have happy memories of the early years under Lawrie Sanchez. When Lawrie was manager I was expected to turn up and be a mannequin really, he added. At the start, it was a bit of a gut wrencher, not just for myself but a lot of lads who went through a similar situation. McAuley pictured in training at the St JakobPark in Basle ahead of Sundays second leg McAuley and fellow defender Jonny Evans reflect after Thursdays 10 defeat in BelfastThe time that stands out for me was just before Lawrie left. I was at Leicester, playing every week, but I was coming away with Northern Ireland, standing in the corner and not even being part of training. That has completely changed. People talk about what Michael has done, and I would say he has given every player in the squad a sense of worth.

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