Sunday 24 September 2017

Keane stays focused as he dismisses Celtic talk

Ireland assistant insists he's happy in role with national side ahead of Turkey friendly

Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane with goalkeepers Rob Elliot, left, and David Forde, at squad training ahead of their 3 International Friendly against Turkey on Sunday
Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane with goalkeepers Rob Elliot, left, and David Forde, at squad training ahead of their 3 International Friendly against Turkey on Sunday
Roy Keane talks to the media in the rain at the Irish training session in Malahide
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Roy Keane says that speculation linking him with other jobs is unfounded and stressed that he is happy in his role as assistant manager to Martin O'Neill.

The Corkman is fatigued by questions about jobs elsewhere, with Neil Lennon's departure from Celtic prompting further chatter about his status.

Keane, who will briefly leave the Ireland camp ahead of tomorrow's friendly with Turkey to take in tonight's Champions League final for ITV, thinks it's ironic that he is being asked about jobs now considering he was out of work for over two and a half years before linking up with the FAI.

"It's amazing that, strangely enough, when I was out of a job there was speculation about nothing," said Keane.

"I have a job. Of course I played for Celtic, and it's one of the world's greatest clubs, but I've got a job. If anyone ever rings me about work I will speak to Martin and the FAI but I'm happy enough and focused on what I'm doing.

"People might see this role as part-time or whatever but I've been busy and I enjoy it. I think it's just speculation and that comes from nobody but yourselves (the media). I don't think you've heard it from any club sources.

"I've got a job – I've got two jobs! – and a busy weekend coming up and I'm looking forward to that."

Keane refused to get dragged into debate on the future of his fellow countyman Stephen Ireland, stressing that his exile is a matter between the player and O'Neill after it emerged earlier this week that the Stoke player had failed to return a call from the Derryman.

The Ireland assistant said in 2009 that Giovanni Trapattoni should go and sleep outside Ireland's house to get him back in the fold.

"I'm not the manager," said Keane yesterday, when reminded of those comments. "And I've not thought much about it."

"I said in the past that Stephen is a good player and you hope to have all players available but it happens in other teams and countries that players don't want to make themselves available. There is no point in me going over old ground. You would have to ask Stephen.

"The last time I bumped into him was, Jesus, five or six years ago but other than that I don't know the ins and outs of it.

"I really don't know so I don't want to be guessing but Martin has made it clear that he is not shutting the door on anyone and if Stephen wants to get back involved he knows where Martin and the FAI are and hopefully that will take care of itself."

Irish Independent

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