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O'Neill named Stoke manager

Stoke City have appointed Michael O'Neill as their new manager.

The Northern Ireland boss has signed a three and a half year deal, a week after the Potters parted company with Nathan Jones.

The 50-year-old has become the club's fifth manager in less than two years.

He heads to the bet365 Stadium after a successful eight-year spell in charge of the national side, during which time he became the first manager to lead them to the European Championship finals in 2016.

O'Neill will remain in charge of NI for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Holland and Germany, as well as any play-off tie they could be involved in next March. 

In a statement, the club say: "Michael is now fully focused on preparing the team for the trip to Barnsley and will speak to the media for the first time as manager of Stoke City after the game in South Yorkshire."

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 EFL 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.

“Everyone in the GAWA family is grateful for Michael’s inspirational contribution over the past eight years. After a difficult start to his managerial reign with Northern Ireland he honed an excellent squad and took us to the Round of 16 at Euro 2016, our first major tournament in 30 years. And, of course, he also took us to a play-off for World Cup Russia 2018 and the team have performed extremely well during the Euro 2020 qualification campaign.

“He has instilled incredible belief among our players and inspired countless young people to play football and aspire to play for Northern Ireland. He has also given our wonderful fans plenty to cheer about in recent years.”

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