Sport European Championships

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Belarus flops showed why they are on fringes, fumes angry Roy Keane

Published 02/06/2016 | 02:30

Roy Keane surveys Ireland’s training session at Fota Island yesterday. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Roy Keane surveys Ireland’s training session at Fota Island yesterday. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

Roy Keane believes that Ireland's limp display against Belarus illustrated why Martin O'Neill will be looking to other players for inspiration in Euro 2016.

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The number two was deeply unhappy with the performance in the 2-1 defeat at Turner's Cross and implied that some members of the team damaged their chances of involvement in the opener against Sweden on Monday week.

Aiden McGeady came in for particular criticism, with Keane stating that the Glaswegian "can do a lot better but maybe that's the story of Aiden's career."

Four years ago, Keane was critical of McGeady (above) in his role as a Euro 2012 pundit and that drew a strong response from the player. He will be looking for a different kind of reaction now.

The assistant boss also warned Jeff Hendrick and Daryl Murphy that they quickly need to get up to speed.

"It was a good reality check," he said. "That's what football does to you. It would probably have been no good winning 4-0 and everyone thinking we're a decent team and then going over there and then coming unstuck.

"We'll have a stronger team out against Sweden, simple. We'll be better than that, don't worry."

Keane suggested that the example will be set by the first-team regulars that weren't included in the Cork reverse.

"People go on about pushing players, but there are certain lads in our group that you don't have to push.

"You don't have to push Jon Walters, Seamus Coleman, Glenn Whelan, who trained this morning with the other lads who didn't play.

"Whatever you're doing, do it properly. Even if training is 45 minutes or an hour, do it properly. Football is about good habits and one or two of our players just need to get into that mindset."

James McCarthy trained with the rest of his colleagues in the early part of training at the Fota Island Resort, but Robbie Keane remained absent. The elder Keane feels both will be available for the Sweden encounter.

Irish Independent

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