And he thinks that it is club football where O'Neill's future lies.
"Our performance and reaction tonight was fabulous".
Croatia, who had beaten Greece 4-1 in last week's first leg in Zagreb, will be playing in their fifth World Cup.
"But we know on the other side, management is such a hard job and if something came up, where it would be hard to turn down, no-one would ever begrudge him that".
"I speak for everyone by saying we'd love him to stay and how important he is for us", said the Southampton midfielder, as quoted by the Scottish Sun. But they have time to make that decision.
A number of club sides, including Rangers, are also said to be monitoring the man who led Northern Ireland to a maiden European Championships in 2016, and it is understood the right club project would be the preferred choice should he leave his current job.
Yet they could not rectify what happened at Windsor Park, when referee Ovidiu Hategan inexplicably gave that crucial first-leg penalty for a handball against Corry Evans that left O'Neill and his players dumbfounded.
What if the situation had been reversed and a Northern Ireland player had cannoned a ball off a Swiss defender's arm, resulting in a penalty against Switzerland?
"Shafted is the only word to put it", he said.
"We were angered, upset and disappointed with what happened in Belfast".
"Over the two legs, for us to miss out off the nature of the decision and how it was given, is extremely cruel". There were some players in tears, everyone was struggling to hold back their emotions. Despite the controversy surrounding the winning goal, which saw Evans have to apologise for his wife's rant on Twitter in which she called the referee a "Romanian gypsy", Switzerland were the better side over the two legs as they booked their spot at a fourth straight World Cup. "What we got from every single one was more than I could ask for".