MX23RW : Saturday, August 18 19:41:55

Iain Dowie: 'Michael O'Neill may quit Northern Ireland if World Cup not reached'

Michael O'Neill may decide that the time is right to move on from Northern Ireland if they fail to qualify for the World Cup, according to Iain Dowie.

Iain Dowie has suggested that Michael O'Neill may decide that the time is right to move on from Northern Ireland if they fail to qualify for the World Cup.

NI were controversially beaten 1-0 by Switzerland at Windsor Park in the first leg of their World Cup playoff, and head to Basel to try to overturn the deficit in the second leg on Sunday.

However, if O'Neill fails to lead his nation to their first World Cup since 1986, Dowie feels that the former Shamrock Rovers manager would not be short of offers to go elsewhere.

"No-one's 'unsackable', but if anyone can be, Michael is," Dowie told Sky Sports News.

"On the other hand, I do think there are other opportunities. He will think 'who we've got coming through, and can this group of players replicate that again?'

"Maybe Chris Brunt retires, maybe Gareth McAuley retires. Maybe Steven Davis isn't playing as much. But he may think it's time to move on. I think there'll be a big job coming round the corner."

O'Neill has been in charge of his country since 2011 and led them to the last 16 of Euro 2016.

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Gareth McAuley of West Bromwich Albion during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion at Britannia Stadium on August 29, 2015 in Stoke on Trent, England.
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