Shamrock Rovers boss Michael O'Neill 'won't apply' for vacant NI job

Michael O'Neill (left) and Jim Magilton
Michael O'Neill's assistant at Shamrock Rovers is Jim Magilton who has also been linked with the vacant Northern Ireland job

Shamrock Rovers boss Michael O'Neill appears to have ruled himself out of contention for the vacant Northern Ireland job.

O'Neill insists that he is not looking to leave the Dublin club after leading them to another League of Ireland title and a Europa League group stage place.

"I'm not really looking to go elsewhere," said O'Neill ahead of Rovers' Europa League clash with PAOK Salonika on Thursday in Dublin.

"I'm not applying for jobs elsewhere."

O'Neill added: "The progress at Rovers has been great, but there's still so much more that can be done with the club.

"Hopefully over the next few weeks, we can find a resolution to the contract situation."

Shamrock Rovers chairman Jonathan Roche has always insisted that the club can agree a new deal with their sought-after coach.

Roche also believes wrapping up the League of Ireland title means the players can relax as they look to secure their first points of their Europa League campaign following a 2-1 defeat in Greece last time out.

"We can enjoy playing PAOK now - if we hadn't won the league it would have taken the gloss off it a bit," said Roche.

"The club and the team have worked hard for this. We are building something.

"Over every one of our European games we have played better, we have improved and we have learned.

"I don't think that in the general Irish sphere the size of our achievement has been recognised. People don't appreciate what we're up against.

"PAOK might not be a well-known club in Ireland, but they are a big club. Their budget is 15-16million euros.

"That is bigger than anything in this country in any sport, and they are treating us as equals."

Salonika coach Laszlo Boloni, meanwhile, has several injury problems ahead of the trip to Ireland as striker Stefan Athanasiadis, defender Pablo Contreras, midfielders Pablo Garcia, Stavros Tsoukalas and Vladimir Ivic plus forward Apostolos Giannou are all ruled out.

A win for the Greek side will move them a step closer to a place in the knockout phase, particularly if Tottenham can see off Rubin Kazan.