Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill extends stay until 2020

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REUTERS/Darren Staples Livepic

Martin O'Neill's job is safe even if the Republic of Ireland doesn't qualify for the World Cup next summer.

Ahead of a crucial qualifier against Moldova on Friday, the Republic of Ireland announced Thursday that O'Neill has agreed to a two-year contract extension that will keep him in charge until 2020.

"I think there are exciting times ahead for us with some younger players coming through," O'Neill said, according to BBC Sport.

"I wasn't sure I would get used to international football, but qualification for the Euros made it all worthwhile."

O'Neill took charge in 2013 when he succeeded Giovanni Trapattoni.

Under O'Neill, Ireland managed to qualify for the 2016 European Championship, where the country reached the Round of 16 before getting knocked out by host France.

The Republic of Ireland will struggle to qualify for a second straight competition considering that O'Neill's men sit in third place - one point off of Wales and five back of Serbia - with just two matches remaining.