Michael O’Neill declared he is ready to ‘shake hands’ on a new contract with the IFA.
The Coleraine man celebrated his first victory earlier this month - a memorable 1-0 win over Russia at Windsor Park - since he was appointed boss, succeeding Nigel Worthington, on December 28, 2011.
Even though Northern Ireland’s World Cup qualification hopes have taken a battering following a series of disappointing results, a certain degree of pride was restored with that success over Fabio Capello’s stars on August 14.
“When I took the job, it was a fantastic opportunity at that stage of my management career,” said O’Neill.
“I agreed a two year deal and I would be delighted to go on and do it again, certainly for the European campaign and the nature of the qualification process.
“I’m not in any great rush, but the lines of communication are positive and open with the people concerned. My main focus at present are the games, a new contract will take care of itself.
“Obviously, if results go well, it is a more straight forward process. It’s not something at the fore-front of my mind.”
O’Neill on Tuesday named his squad for the World Cup double header against Portugal on Friday, September 6 and Luxembourg the following Tuesday.
Kyle Lafferty, Chris Brunt and Jonny Evans return to the panel, but there is still no place for the country’s record goal scorer David Healy or Chris Baird, both players are still without a club. Pat McCourt also misses out, even though he has agreed terms with Barnsley.
“The boys have not played a game of football since last season, it’s as simple as that,” added O’Neill.
“Bairdie is still short of match practice. McCourt was on the bench for Barnsley and David has still no club.”