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Last Updated: Friday, 23 November 2007, 15:20 GMT
O'Neill not interested in England
Martin O'Neill
O'Neill missed out on the England job last summer
Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill says he is committed to the club and is not interested in the vacant England coach's position.

The Northern Irishman, 55, who was interviewed for the job last year, is among the favourites to take over following Steve McClaren's dismissal.

O'Neill told BBC Radio 5 Live: "My name might not even be put forward and I am uncomfortable talking about it.

"But I have got a commitment to this club and I want to see it through."

McClaren was sacked after England were beaten 3-2 by Croatia at Wembley on Wednesday and so failed to qualify for next summer's Euro 2008 finals.


The Football Association's chief executive Brian Barwick has begun his search for a replacement but O'Neill does not expect to be approached again.

The former Leicester and Celtic boss added: "I can understand why my name has been mentioned because my name was in the interview process 18 months ago.

"But I didn't do well there, so what's going to be any different this time? As far as I'm concerned nothing will change.

"It is a fantastic job to do, there is no question of that, but I am committed to Aston Villa."

Of the other contenders, BBC Sport understands that Jose Mourinho is not interested in the job.

I am not in a position like I was at my old club where the chairman openly extended the invitation for me to go for the position

Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce

Like O'Neill, Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce and West Ham's Alan Curbishley both stressed their commitment to their clubs.

And Portugal's coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, another to be courted by the FA before McClaren's appointment, is the latest to say he will see out his contract which finishes after Euro 2008.

But that could leave the door open for the FA should they be willing to wait that long to appoint a manager, who announced his intention to stop coaching Portugal next summer.

"I have a contract with Portugal, with the federation, until July 2008," re-iterated Scolari in a statement released through his spokesman.

"This connection has been maintained on other occasions when I've been sounded out and asked."

Mark Hughes signed a new contract with Blackburn on Friday, and Marcello Lippi has distanced himself from the role.

Allardyce, who was Bolton manager when he was touted for the England job 18 months ago, says he wants to honour the new contract he recently signed at Newcastle.

"I am not in a position like I was at my old club where the chairman openly extended the invitation for me to go for the position," he said.

Curbishley was interviewed for the position in 2006 but has since taken over at West Ham.

"Eighteen months ago I was in there and wasn't successful but I've moved on," he told 5 Live. "I'm at West Ham, this is my club, this is where I want to be.

"I know England's the biggest job but I want to build this club up and I've only been here 10 months."

Anybody would love to manage their country but I don't see it coming my way

Portsmouth boss Harry Rednapp

Italian Lippi, 59, said: "I love the Premier League but I don't speak English.

"Considering the way I see and experience football this is a big handicap, because a coach above all guides players and my primary concept is the squad."

Portsmouth boss Harry Rednapp said he would like the job but downplayed his chances.

"Anybody would love to manage their country but I don't see it coming my way.

"It's a great job for somebody. It's an opportunity to work with the best players in this country and for me still, despite what anyone might think, a group of some of the best players in the world."

Reading boss Steve Coppell said it was a "non-issue" for him because he is under contract at the Madejski Stadium.

"I'm English so people link me. I've got a massive job at Reading, as far as I'm concerned, and I'm very happy with that."

England's next scheduled match is a friendly against France in Paris on 26 March, although there is a date available in February to arrange another fixture if required.

The next competitive match will be the opening encounter of the 2010 World Cup campaign in September, with the draw for the qualifying groups taking place on Sunday.

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