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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Gareth Fullerton

Northern Ireland fans back Michael O'Neill to return as new bookies' favourite emerges

The hunt is on to find Northern Ireland's next manager following the sacking of Ian Baraclough - and there is one man fans want.

The Green and White Army are calling for former boss Michael O'Neill to return.

O'Neill guided the country to the 2016 Euro finals in France where they reached the knockout stages before losing out to Wales.

Read more: Veteran goalkeeper Alan Mannus in talks over extending playing career further

Northern Ireland also narrowly missed out on qualification for the 2018 World Cup under O'Neill's tenure, heights that Baraclough failed to reach during his 28 months in charge.

In a poll conducted by Belfast Live, 39 per cent of fans voted for former Stoke City manager O'Neill to take over. That was almost twice as many votes as the second-placed man, David Healy.

Linfield boss Healy claimed 21 per cent of the vote, just ahead of ex-Celtic manager and Northern Ireland midfielder Neil Lennon (20%).

O'Neill emerged as the early favourite with the bookmakers, but he has now been overtaken by Stephen Robinson, who is currently in charge of St Mirren.

BetVictor have Robinson installed at the 1/2 favourite to get the nod, ahead of O'Neill 4/1, Healy 8/1 and Lennon 12/1.

In our poll Robinson earned just 10% of the votes.

Those four were way ahead of anyone else, however, with Tommy Wright (5%), Kenny Shiels (3%) and Jim Magilton (2%) bringing up the rear.

Poll results (percentages)

  • Michael O'Neill 39
  • David Healy 21
  • Neil Lennon 20
  • Stephen Robinson 10
  • Tommy Wright 5
  • Kenny Shiels 3
  • Jim Magilton 2


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