O'Neill rules out taking Leicester job and questions players' attitude

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Former Leicester City boss Martin O'Neill has ruled out a return to the club and questioned the attitude of the playing squad.

Claudio Ranieri was sacked on Thursday, less than 10 months on from guiding the club to a shock Premier League title win, with a number of reports suggesting senior players had confronted the board to demand the Italian's dismissal.

Kasper Schmeichel denied that such a meeting took place, while striker Jamie Vardy described the claims as "extremely hurtful" as he paid tribute to Ranieri's efforts in a heartfelt social media message.

O'Neill, who guided Leicester to the top flight in 1996 and twice won the League Cup in a five-year spell as manager, says the squad should have solved any disputes in the dressing-room and suggested that they have shown little fighting spirit.

"Leicester City won the Premier League last season by quite a number of points," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

"You're talking about Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham unable to catch a side that won the Premier League.

"It's a phenomenal achievement, it won't be done again in Premier League history and the players took credit for that and Ranieri dropped into background.

"Only two months ago I voted for him as FIFA manager of year and he has that right to do it [keep them up]. There's pressure on, I know teams have to win matches. I know how important financially the Premier League is, Leicester aren't the only team losing matches.

"The owners have the ultimate say but I think this was combination of things.

"Some players went to the owner to talk about whatever they were talking about. Why should players go to owner, even in this day and age?

"If things are not going well, you sort it out in the dressing room.

"The players took an awful lot of credit last year, rightly so, they did the playing and this game's still about players.

"Somewhere along the way if you have to take criticism, you have to look inwards as a player."

O'Neill has been linked with a possible return to the club, but the 64-year-old insists he is fully committed to his role with the Republic of Ireland.

"I wouldn't be going," he said. "I'm enjoying the job here at this moment and there is a big, big game ahead [against Wales] and quite some difficult matches coming ahead.

"If somebody was trying to do two jobs at same time there would be problems if you didn't get results on both sides."