Michael O'Neill says choosing Northern Ireland over Scotland was difficult
By Stephen Mills
Last Updated: 24/01/18 2:11pm
Michael O'Neill has admitted that turning down Scotland to remain with Northern Ireland was "a difficult decision".
The 48-year-old, who guided Northern Ireland to Euro 2016 before missing out on the World Cup after a play-off defeat to Switzerland last year, snubbed an offer to replace Gordon Strachan on Monday, having held talks with the SFA.
Speaking at the draw for the UEFA Nations League, where Northern Ireland were paired with Austria and Bosnia & Herzegovina, O'Neill explained why he decided to take up the IFA's contract extension instead.
O'Neill told Sky Sports: "It was a difficult decision for me to make. I had to know after six years that it was the right thing for me going forward.
"I felt I needed to speak to Scotland to be right in my head and to be fair to both countries.
"If I'm staying with Northern Ireland I have to be 100 per cent focused on the job and equally, if I was going to take the Scotland job, I had to be 100 per cent sure that it was the right option for me as well.
"I needed to speak to the SFA to do that and, having done that, I feel my work at Northern Ireland is still not complete.
"We have to challenge again or do our best to challenge again, keep the squad together and try to grow it as well."
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