Watford coach Billy McKinlay quits Northern Ireland role

Michael O'Neill and Billy McKinlay
Billy McKinlay with Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill

Watford's new head coach Billy McKinlay has stepped down from his role as assistant to Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill.

Irish FA elite performance director Jim Magilton will act as interim assistant for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Greece.

Speaking on Tuesday, McKinlay, 45, said his attention had to be "fully on bringing success to Watford FC".

McKinlay took over at Watford after Oscar Garcia stepped down on Monday.

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Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill says he is happy to have Jim Magilton as his interim assistant after new Watford Head Coach Billy McKinlay stood down from the job.

"I am very grateful to both the Irish FA and to Michael O'Neill," McKinlay added.

The former Scotland international added that it had been an "honour and privilege to work as part of an international coaching structure".

"I wish Michael, the staff, players and everyone else connected with Northern Ireland football my best wishes for a successful Euro 2016 qualifying campaign."

Northern Ireland began their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with an impressive 2-1 victory in Hungary earlier this month and face the Faroe Islands next in Group F on 11 October at Windsor Park.

Glasgow-born McKinlay played 22 times for Scotland and made more than 400 appearances during his professional career, appearing for Dundee United, Blackburn and Leicester City between 1984 and 2005.

McKinlay previously combined a post as Fulham's first-team coach with his Northern Ireland work before losing the Craven Cottage role.

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