Martin O’Neill has imposed a match day Twitter ban on his Ireland players after James McClean claimed a Belfast newspaper is “sectarian” and staffed by “bigots” who had accused him of being a turncoat when he switched allegiances from Northern Ireland to the Republic.

O’Neill took the action on Monday and said, “I wasn’t overly pleased. James seems to enjoy the Twittering and his performance merited one or two tweets from other people saying how we he had done, rather than James getting embroiled again.

“It all leads to the whole thing again about the tweeting. I think even before I arrived here, there was a match day ban on tweeting – in fact, it might even have been a match day minus-one or plus-one, as the case may be, or even a two-day ban.

“I am just experiencing these things again, so let me have a look. I don’t want to be a guru over this social media and players. I think there just has to be a bit of responsibility.

“Sometimes I think the players don’t realize, even after all this time – maybe they do – they might not realize that this is a public media and anything they say is just picked up.”