As a player at Nottingham Forest, Martin O'Neill was part of one of the great underdog stories, forming an integral part of the side which won two European Cups under Brian Clough. It is an experience he still draws on decades later. It fuelled his success at Leicester - where he won two League Cups as a manager - and his determination to inspire an Ireland team, lacking world-class players, to punch above their weight. "There are comparisons with the job I did at Leicester and what I'm doing at Ireland - it does bring out something Seth Joyner Jersey in my personality," O'Neill says. Reebok NHL Youth Oliver Ekman-Larsson Black Third Authentic Jersey - #23 Arizona Coyotes"That love of Seth Joyner Jersey the underdog. I had that as a player at Nottingham Forest too, when we won the league and the European Cup. Those were the great days of my playing career, under Brian Clough, and that stays with you as a manager. "Clough used to play on that in the media, Seth Joyner Jersey the underdog thing, but he never gave a feeling of inadequacy to the players. Far from it, in fact. The best managers do that." Indeed, empowering players - and making them feel valued - lies at the heart of the O'Neill philosophy. "Football is about the players," he says. "When we were growing up, the dream was to be a cricketer or a footballer - it was to score a 100 in a Test match, it was to score the winning goal at Wembley or in a European Cup final. I don't think there are many 10-year-olds dreaming of standing on a touchline directing the team. "The manager is very, very important, I'm not minimising that. Great managers are worth their weight in gold, but the game belongs to the players. You want to see the players performing, the great managers try and get a reflection of themselves in the players." There are those who have argued that O'Neill, at the age of 65, is no longer relevant as a tactician; a dinosaur who cannot keep up with a younger breed of dynamic managers with new styles and formations. Such accusations irritate him, given his success. As does the persistent accusation in Ireland, that his team do not have any clear tactical guidance. O'Neill does not follow fashions and, unlike some, does not try to blind critics with talk of philosophies and brands. In private, O'Neill often scoffs at those who have tried to suggest they have reinvented football from the dugout. "Words like philosophy seem to be used now and accepted," says O'Neill. "I have no problem with that, but everybody has a philosophy. Clough had a philosophy, Jock Stein had a philosophy, they just didn't use it every single day to try and baffle people.