Saturday 20 January 2018

'Bad cop and even worse cop' confirm FAI partnership

ONE will be bad and the other will be even worse.

Irish football's new dream team broke its silence last night with incoming Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill saying that if he's going to be the "bad cop", his new assistant Roy Keane will be the "bad, bad cop".

The pair were speaking while carrying out their usual punditry duties on British TV.

They spoke pitchside just before the kick-off of the Champions League game between Keane's former team Manchester United and Spanish side Real Sociedad.

Presenter Adrian Chiles began the broadcast asking former Celtic boss Martin O'Neill why he chose to work with Keane.

"I've asked myself that manys a time in the last 48 hours but he's coming with me," said O'Neill. "Personally speaking I think he'll be great for me but more importantly he'll be great for the Republic of Ireland."

Hot-headed former Irish mid-fielder Keane said that their appointment as the Irish squad's management team is "fantastic news", adding he is "delighted, obviously".

"I'm honoured that Martin's asked me to go and help him with the team," he said.

"I'm very excited – [though] I mightn't look it", he joked, adding: "I'm looking forward to working with the players and trying to get to the Euros."

Keane added: "I think I deserve a chance to get back into management ... hopefully we don't let anyone down."

Chiles described the pair as Ying and Yang and asked if their new role is "a marriage made in heaven".

O'Neill responded with a jibe on their fearsome reputations saying: "Well I think I'm the bad cop and I think he's the bad, bad cop. I think we're excited by it. It looks as if we've got something to go with – looking forward to it."

The pair will be officially presented to the media by the FAI on Saturday and are expected to take up their positions in advance of next week's friendly against Latvia in Dublin.

Cormac McQuinn

Irish Independent

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