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Sunday, October 25, 1998 Published at 19:45 GMT


O'Neill to stay with Leicester

Martin O'Neill's future at Leicester is secure

Leicester chairman John Elsom has confirmed that Martin O'Neill will be staying at Filbert Street after weeks of speculation that the Foxes boss would be installed as manager at Leeds.


Leicester City chairman John Elson
At a press conference on Wednesday morning Leicester announced that O'Neill's future at a the club was guaranteed, following Leeds chief Peter Ridsdale's revelation that the former Wycombe and Norwich boss was no longer in their plans.

City manager O'Neill had been strongly linked with the Elland Road hot seat, vacated by George Graham on September 30, and was United's first choice.

But Leicester denied them permission to speak to the ex-Northern Ireland international.

Leeds are to hold a board meeting and the appointment of a new manager, expected to be current caretaker David O'Leary, is set to be made on Thursday.

'Crowd helped make up my mind'

O'Neill said there were "a number of reasons" why he had decided to stay at Filbert Street.

"The alternative of walking out on a contract was not too palatable," he said.

"Obviously, Monday night's reaction of the crowd was very influential and I have to say as well that the players played a part in it too."

O'Neill's future had been plunged into doubts for the second time in four months when Leeds made it clear they wanted him to replace Graham, now in charge at Tottenham.

The Ulsterman, who took over at Filbert Street following Mark McGhee's departure in December 1995, was targeted by Everton in June.

O'Neill was believed to be unhappy after Leicester undermined his position as manager but after much discussion, he pledged him future to the club.

After an uncertain start as Fox's boss, O'Neill has become a popular figure with fans and players alike, leading them to promotion to the Premiership in his first season and then the Coca-Cola Cup - their first major trophy in 33 years - in 1997.



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