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Abuja, Oct. 3, 2017 (Reuters/NAN) Wales forward Gareth Bale has been ruled out of their crucial last two 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Ireland due to a calf injury.

The Nottingham Forest striker marked his 30th senior cap with his second and third goals for his country on a night when victory was the only option if Ireland were to keep their hopes of emerging from Group D alive.

Speaking about the new deal, O'Neill said: "I spoke to John (Delaney) very recently and he said on behalf of the board that they would like to extend my contract for another couple of years obviously with the Euros coming up". "I think they are ready for it".

In advance of pivotal World Cup games against Moldova and Wales the Football Association of Ireland announced the manager and his assistant Roy Keane would continue for the Euro 2020 qualifiers, without knowing whether he will succeed in reaching Russian Federation 2018.

Asked if his team had got what they deserved from the campaign, he said: 'I don't think we have achieved anything and I believe it was probably one of the weakest campaigns for qualification for the World Cup for our national team'.

"I brought him into the squad from the U21s and he's beginning to flourish now; it's good he's getting more game-time at club level, which is very, very important".

"It's important to put Wales on the backburner", cautioned O'Neill, "and that is important for us to concentrate on the game ahead and I think that is what the players are doing".

In Group E, results didn't go Ireland's way with Denmark beating Montenegro - a draw or a Montenegro win would have suited better, though both face tough final ties, against Romania and Poland respectively, and could still drop points.

"(I'm) Delighted, I have enjoyed it immensely.

There was no mention as to whether O'Neill's assistant, Roy Keane, will remain with the Irish set-up for the Euro 2020 campaign.

"We're still in the mix and one out of one (qualifying) at this minute is not too bad". He describes that as an unfortunate side-effect of his team's strong start: Ireland took 10 points from their first four games, including a 1-0 win in Austria.


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