Monday 5 December 2016

'My only focus is on Ireland this summer'- Roy Keane denies Celtic contact

Published 05/05/2016 | 02:30

Roy Keane (SPORTSFILE)
Roy Keane (SPORTSFILE)

Roy Keane has dismissed speculation about his future as irrelevant until he is offered a job. The Ireland assistant has conceded that links with vacant roles are inevitable in the coming weeks.

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He has already been mentioned as a possible replacement for Ronny Deila at Celtic, a role he turned down two years ago.

But Keane insists that he is focused on preparing for the Euros with Ireland and stressed that his aversion to applying for roles means that clubs will have to make him a direct offer to add substance to any stories.

"I'm not trying to cop out but I don't look too far ahead," said Keane, when asked about the Celtic talk in an interview with ESPN. "I think what will be will be, things will take care of themselves. I believe the man upstairs will look after me one way or the other.

"My only focus is on Ireland this summer. I've never been one to worry about contract situations or if a club is interested in me; I'm not one for touting myself, I don't go applying for jobs. I'm not that busy kind of personality.

"If Martin O'Neill decides to stay on and he wants me involved, we'll have a good chat about it. I'm loving the role, and grateful for the position.

"The only time you know if you're interested is if you're asked. This idea of speculation about other clubs. There's always club jobs coming up, there will be in the next few weeks, but until someone asks you that question, 'would you take that job?' there's no question to answer.

"I've never been fearful about what's coming around the corner for me, never. I think all that will be taken care of if I give 100pc to whatever job I'm in. At this moment my focus is on working with Martin and the players and the staff and making sure we go to the Euros and make Ireland proud and everything else will fall into place after that. I'm open minded, you don't know where the next challenge is coming from until someone asks you."

In the course of an entertaining interview with the 'Beyond the Pitch' podcast, Keane discussed the Irish expectations for the tournament in light of his criticism of the mentality in Poland four years ago which included his soundbite that people were there 'for a singsong'.

"It was more the mindset of maybe the supporters and one or two of the players," he explained. "We have brilliant supporters who do love a singsong and always bring something to every tournament.

"But our mindset must be, listen, it's great we've qualified but let's not come back after a week or two and say that was great. Martin is from the same mindset as myself, we want to make a mark.

"We don't just want to just go over there, turn up and say, listen, let's have a few pints and a singsong. I think those days are gone with Ireland, particularly with Martin on board and hopefully with myself and some of the other staff and to be fair, the players we have now got involved. We want to stay as long as we can, get out of the group, take on some of the bigger countries."

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