Thursday 21 September 2017

Roy Keane: 'I am not daft enought to walk away from a job'

Assistant boss backs O’Neill to stay on and insists neither will ‘jump ship’

27 July 2015; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane with Ruud Dokter, FAI High Performance Director, at the SSE Airtricity National U17s League Launch. FAI HQ, Abbotstown, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
27 July 2015; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane with Ruud Dokter, FAI High Performance Director, at the SSE Airtricity National U17s League Launch. FAI HQ, Abbotstown, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane says he has an open mind about his future with the club and insists neither him nor Martin O'Neill will 'jump ship'
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Roy Keane says he has an open mind about his next move after the Euro 2016 campaign but hinted that he would stay on in his role as Ireland assistant unless Martin O'Neill or the FAI told him he was surplus to requirements.

Keane is committed for the remainder of the French mission and stressed that neither himself or O'Neill were ever going to jump ship in the middle of that job.

He has consistently admitted that he is attracted by a return to a number one role with a club, yet feels it would be rash to walk away from his position at the FAI unless he had something firmly lined up.

The Corkman feels that keeping O'Neill on for stability makes sense but knows results in the autumn will dictate developments.

Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane and manager Martin O'Neill, right, during squad training, Gannon Park
Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane and manager Martin O'Neill, right, during squad training, Gannon Park

"I'm enjoying the job as much as when I came into it," said Keane, "I certainly want to get back to being a manager but I'm enjoying the role. I don't think Martin or myself were ever going to jump ship through the contract, even though, obviously, I maybe had an opportunity last year and there was speculation about Martin in the last month or two.

"There's a saying in football, 'the best time to get a job is when you are in a job'. I'm not daft enough to walk away from jobs. I'd hate to be out of a job and the phone not ring for six months and think 'why did I give up a bloody good job?'

"That's if the offer is there. I want to get back in the driving seat but the driving seat might be in another two years' time or two months."

Keane feels that a variety of scenarios could unfold depending on what happens in the remaining four qualifiers. He even briefly touched on a permutation where he would stay even if O'Neill departed. But he feels the current boss deserves a longer stint.

"Do I think he should stay on? I think he should," he said. "Stability is an important word in football but so are results. But you could be talking to me in October and the dynamics of the group could have changed and the feel-good factor will be back.

"You don't know what's around the corner. Whether Martin doesn't want me to stay or the FAI don't want Martin to stay but ask me to stay on - at that time I might have a different mindset.

"I am not really proactive in looking for work, getting messages out there saying 'my contract is...' I don't work that way. If jobs do come up I might be a bit more proactive in trying to speak to people. But I would hate to be doing that when I am under contract, it's not my form."

Irish Independent

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