Neil Lennon hails Martin O’Neill influence

Republic of Ireland manager Martin ONeill Euro 2016

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Bolton boss Neil Lennon feels the Republic of Ireland will be in good hands at Euro 2016 with Martin O’Neill at the helm.

The men from the Emerald Isle reached the France showpiece courtesy of a 3-1 aggregate play-off victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina and will have neighbours Northern Ireland for company in the summer.

Lennon knows all about O’Neill’s managerial style having played under the 63-year-old at both Leicester City and Celtic.

The veteran tactician then went on to manage Aston Villa and Sunderland, ensuring that both teams remained stable in the Premier League, and the fans of those respective outfits probably wish he was still in charge now given their parlous position in the English top-flight.

And Lennon, who managed the Bhoys for four years before moving to Bolton Wanderers in 2014, has no doubt about O’Neill credentials.

“Martin was the best manager I played under. No doubt about it,” he said. “As a motivator he was fantastic and technically and tactically he was very astute.

“What Martin did at Leicester and Celtic was outstanding. It was great to play in his teams.”

The Irish are 101.00 outsiders to win Euro 2016 and 2.38 to qualify for the knock-out stage from Group E.

Both will be tough, with Italy, Belgium and Sweden also in their group but Lennon believes they have the best chance under the current manager.

“He was a great player and he went on to become a great manager. His record is superb and he continues to impress,” he added.”Taking the Republic of Ireland to Euro 2016 was another great achievement.”

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