Ahead of tonight's match, O'Neill said: "Joe Kinnear has been an excellent manager.
"He conjured an excellent team spirit at Wimbledon which he really needed as they were playing games at Crystal Palace and didn't have a home of their own.
"If you were going to survive you had to have that spirit and if you were going to prosper, which they did, they had to have something a bit special.
"It was a big, big win for Joe when Newcastle beat West Bromwich Albion last week and you get the impression with Joe that he is desperate to get back into the game.
"This is a great opportunity for him and he has said this is the biggest club he has ever worked in.
"He wants to do his very best. He has got to win and I think there is a new-found spirit there.
"I thought their efforts against Manchester City, when they appeared to have been played off the pitch and then they found something from somewhere to hit back, was fantastic.
"For the last 10 minutes they were out on their feet but they put in a big effort into the game to get a draw. So, he has something going for him.
"He is at a great, great club and it is not me being sycophantic about it because they are a tremendous club.
"Someone said there were only 45,000 there the other night. Unbelievable. Only 45,000 and the crowd is dropping off!"