'Rovers are doing the right things. I can see progress' - Robbie
Robbie Keane has backed Shamrock Rovers boss Stephen Bradley to get things right in Tallaght but warned that it might take until next season before the benefit of behind-the-scenes work pays off.
Keane is training with the Hoops every day in order to maintain his fitness and has been impressed by the rookie manager and his support staff that includes two of his former colleagues - sporting director Stephen McPhail and coach Damien Duff.
Rovers have lost six out of their opening 10 games but the Tallaght man says that supporters should be optimistic about the future.
"They're definitely doing the right things. I know that they have the right people in charge," said Keane yesterday.
"It's a transitional period for them and people have to understand that. Things don't just happen overnight, they take a bit of time. They have a lot of good young players coming through who will do well eventually but it's taking them time to settle into the league.
"But being around it a little bit, I see what they are doing, the coaching staff, and what they are trying to implement. There's no question that sooner rather than later they're going to succeed and be a top team.
"I think that will be more looking towards next year because if you look at the points difference now, they're way off. Cork are obviously flying at the moment, I don't think anybody is going to catch them.
"But they are doing the right things, I've seen it first hand. They've got a young manager. We always talk about giving young managers a chance, don't we?
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"Now Rovers have done that with Bradley who knows the game inside out, he's very knowledgeable and wants to do things the right way so if you're going to give him a chance, well then let's give him a proper chance instead of losing a few games here and there and people are thinking that, 'Oh this is a crisis'.
"I can see progress and they can certainly see progress and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before they become a top team."
Keane has helped out on the coaching field too, working individually with the club's attackers and he has enjoyed that experience.
"That's just a natural thing I do," he said. "The shooting sessions after training. I quite enjoy that, the lads seem to enjoy it. That's obviously going to be the next step for me (coaching) but it won't be for another couple of years."