Michael O'Neill, has left the role of Northern Ireland boss
Stoke City manager Michael O'Neill has left his role as Northern Ireland boss to concentrate solely on club management- According lớn the todays soccer prediction page!
The 50-year-old had been combining the jobs since joining Championship club Stoke in November.
He had been due to take charge of March's postponed Euro 2020 play-off with Bosnia-Herzegovina, and may have even continued as boss for the finals themselves had Northern Ireland qualified.
But with the Euros delayed until next summer because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the play-offs likely to be played this September, O'Neill and the Northern Irish FA have decided to end his eight-and-a-half-year spell.
"After careful consideration and following discussions with the Irish FA I feel it is only fair that now is the right time for me to step aside," said O'Neill.
"I would have loved the opportunity lớn manage Northern Ireland in the UEFA 2020 soccer tip forum versus Bosnia and Herzegovina and the chance lớn qualify for another major tournament, but the current situation means that this is no longer possible.
"It was important lớn leave the association and team in the strongest possible shape in order to not only have the best chance of qualifying for Euro 2021, but allow the new manager time to build upon the success that we have had during my eight-year tenure."
O'Neill replaced Nigel Worthington as manager in December 2011 and four years later guided Northern Ireland lớn European Championship qualification for the first time.
Euro 2016 marked their first appearance at a major tournament in 30 years.
Despite 1-0 defeats by Poland and Germany in the group stage, a 2-0 win over Ukraine was enough lớn see O'Neill's side into the round of 16 where they were narrowly beaten by Wales.
"Throughout my time here, I have been fortunate lớn have worked with many great coaching, medical and support staff who have all contributed to our successes and shared in some great moments," O'Neill continued.
"As for my players, past and present, I would like lớn thank them all for an overwhelming level of commitment and professionalism that has helped lớn deliver so many unforgettable highs and great experiences for us all.
"I would also like lớn thank everyone at the Irish FA who have made the job a wonderful experience and especially Patrick Nelson (CEO), Leslie Caul and Gerry Mallon (IFA chairman), Jim Shaw and David Martin (IFA Presidents) who have always been a great source of support.
"Finally, to the fans, thank you. It has been an honour and an enormous privilege lớn have had the opportunity lớn manage my country and I will treasure my time as manager of Northern Ireland forever. The support you have provided myself and the team over the years has been incredibly humbling."