O'Neill's wise words for McClean
James McClean has been urged to keep his own counsel amid brewing unrest over his decision to represent the Republic of Ireland.
The man offering those words of advice to the exciting 23-year-old is the Sunderland midfielder's club manager Martin O'Neill, himself an Ulsterman. McClean, who was born in Derry, was subjected to abuse when he announced earlier this season that he had opted to play for the Republic rather than his native Northern Ireland, exercising his right under the Good Friday agreement. He was similarly attacked via Twitter this week following his selection for Giovanni Trapattoni's Euro 2012 finals squad, and swiftly closed his account after receiving death threats. The matter prompted Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, to step in to urge calm and O'Neill, who played for the North, has urged McClean not to be dragged further into the row. He said: "It didn't exist in my time, but it is something that has cropped up now, the possibility of playing for either side, and that's something that James has done. "He has been on twittering and he has been doing that for some time. He has been given advice in closing the account down, so at least that's gone. He is going to get some sort of a reaction to it from somewhere, but I am not so sure he should be reacting to the reactions, as it were. Whether it's the end of it or not (I don't know) ...but at least the Twitter account has gone."