Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

17.17 24 Jun 2020


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Motherwell have "reluctantly" allowed boss Stephen Robinson to interview for the vacant managerial role with the Northern Ireland senior team.

The Irish Football Association (IFA) have stepped up their search for a replacement for Stoke City manager Michael O'Neill, who resigned from his international role in April after the postponement of Euro 2020.

Motherwell confirmed Robinson's interest in the job in a statement released this afternoon.

"We have given Stephen Robinson permission to speak to the Irish FA regarding the vacant role of Northern Ireland manager," the statement reads.

"On Tuesday, the governing body sought consent to interview Stephen for the job, which we reluctantly granted.

"We have expressed in the strongest possible terms that we want him to stay with us."

The former Bournemouth and Luton Town midfielder was capped seven times for Northern Ireland and was also assistant to O'Neill when they qualified for Euro 2016 while he also managed underage squads for the IFA.

Robinson was also an assistant to former Sligo Rovers boss Ian Baraclough at Motherwell before taking the big job himself in 2017 after a short stint managing Oldham Athletic.

The 45-year-old guided the Well to the League Cup final in 2017 by beating Rangers in the semis, before a defeat in the decider to Celtic who also beat them in that season's Scottish Cup final.

"The work he has done so far to take the club to two national cup finals, bring through young talent and finish third in last season’s Premiership has been exceptional," the statement adds.

"As we prepare to embark on a UEFA Europa League campaign, it is our hope that Stephen will stay to continue the work that has proven so successful."

The IFA are speaking to other candidates and it has been reported that another ex-international, Tommy Wright, has also been interviewed this week.

The former Northern Ireland goalkeeper was capped 31 times and is a free agent following his departure from Saint Johnstone this summer after seven years in charge at McDiarmid Park.

Northern Ireland are due to play Romania and Norway in the Nations League in September before taking on Bosnia-Herzegovina in their European Championship play-off semi-final on 8 October.

The winners of that match will face whoever wins the semi-final between the Republic of Ireland and Slovakia on the same day, in a decider on 12 November.


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