Jimmy Nicholl named Michael O’Neill’s assistant

Jimmy Nicholl will become Michael O'Neill's assistant with the Northern Ireland national side. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Jimmy Nicholl will become Michael O'Neill's assistant with the Northern Ireland national side. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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JIMMY Nicholl has been named as assistant manager to Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill.

The Cowdenbeath boss steps into the role vacated by Billy McKinlay in September when he took on the Watford job full-time, only to be replaced eight days later by Slavisa Jokanovic.

Jim Magilton and Stephen Robinson have fulfilled the role in the meantime, but O’Neill was keen to appoint a permanent replacement and has found his man in the former Northern Ireland defender, who played in both the 1982 and 1986 World Cup finals.

“I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Jimmy onboard,” O’Neill said. “He has vast experience as a player and a coach and having been capped 73 times he knows what it means to play for Northern Ireland and what an honour it is.

“I have known Jimmy for over 25 years and I know that he will be a huge asset to my backroom team.”

Nicoll will remain in charge of Scottish Championship side Cowdenbeath while committing to Northern Ireland for the remainder of the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

“Having played in two World Cups for Northern Ireland nothing would thrill me more than to be part of the squad to qualify for another major tournament and I am delighted that Michael and the Irish FA have seen fit to place such trust in me,” he said. “I can’t wait to get started.”

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