Billy McKinlay: Former Scotland midfielder reunited with O'Neill at Stoke City

Billy McKinlay and Michael O'Neill
Billy McKinlay represented Scotland at Euro 96 and the World Cup in France two years later

Michael O'Neill has appointed his former Northern Ireland number two Billy McKinlay as his assistant manager at Stoke City.

McKinlay worked alongside O'Neill during his early years at Windsor Park before leaving to become Watford boss in 2014.

The former Scotland international and Fulham coach lasted just eight days in the job before departing Vicarage Road.

He has also worked under David Moyes at Real Sociedad, Sunderland and West Ham.

O'Neill and McKinlay's relationship stretches back to the 90's when they were teammates as Dundee United players.

McKinlay, 50, made more than 200 appearances for United before in 1995 joining then Premier League Champions Blackburn Rovers, where he spent five years.

He also served Bradford City, Clydebank, Leicester City and Fulham as a talented midfielder and won 29 Scotland caps, representing his country at both Euro 96 and the World Cup in France two years later.

"Billy and I have known each other since the early 1990s when we were team-mates and I'm delighted to welcome him to the staff at Stoke City," O'Neill told the Potters' website.

"I've seen Billy work at both club and international level and I know that he's an excellent coach who I believe is a great fit for us."

Northern Ireland's Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with with a 6-1 defeat in Germany but O'Neill will return for the play-off against Bosnia in March.

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