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'There is no quick fix for Ireland' – Keane

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Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane. Photo: Sportsfile

Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane. Photo: Sportsfile

Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane. Photo: Sportsfile

ROY KEANE has warned those looking for some kind of football revolution under Martin O'Neill to think again. It will be horses for courses during the Euro 2016 qualifying series.

"Don't be thinking that all of a sudden we're going to be playing a system that you've not heard of," he said during the launch of Cork City's Patronage Scheme in UCC.

"Sometimes managers – or the Irish team – can get labelled with a certain way of playing. I think if we can win matches – I think that's the most important thing. We have got good players.

"Even going back to when I played, Ireland got criticised for maybe being too direct, didn't keep the ball well enough. Even when I played under Jack or even Mick we were pretty direct.

"The game is changing but it depends on the players you have available. We've got a lot of good ball players – Stephen Ireland, (Andy) Reidy, Wes Hoolahan, all very talented boys. Stokesy.

"So it depends on what games come around, what players are available, who's in good form, who's in their club teams.

AGGRESSIVE

"Don't underestimate Martin's experience. He's got great experience and I certainly know from watching his teams over the years, his teams have played different styles of play, they can be very aggressive, they can be good counter-attacking teams – which he certainly did at Aston Villa. Pretty physical and strong up at Celtic. Very good team he built at Leicester. So, as I said, it's not a quick fix."

The hunt for talent goes on but Keane refuses to become hung up on the fact that no big new talent has been found under a rock yet.

"We're not putting ourselves under pressure to try and discover players or find out something that the previous management didn't. No, no, it'll be a slow process on that side of it," he said.

"A lot of our players are doing well week in, week out in the Premiership (sic) but Martin and myself we have to try and get a bigger squad. Every player that might be available we'll look at them. We're not shutting any doors on any players.

PROCESS

"But it might just take a bit of time. We've got potentially four games at the end of the season and we might get an opportunity to look at some other players.

"But I know Martin is like myself, we still want to win the football matches. I don't think we want to be throwing caps around. We want the lads to earn the right to play, particularly for the senior team. So it's a process we're enjoying. Martin's a good guy and I feel very lucky to be working with him."

Keane accepts that the draw process could have been kinder in terms of the early fixture schedule and the predominance of away games.

"Yeah, it's going to be tough but that's the name of the game. It's tough at any level. The draw could have been kinder to us but, hey, what do you do – cry about it?" he said.

"We just have to get on with it. The way the games have panned out – three of the first four games are away – it's going to be difficult. But I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to the challenge.

"These end of season games will be important to us before the first qualifier. I think what we will have, like all Irish teams I've seen or been involved in – even the difficulties I've had over the last few years – they always have a go. They always have a go, despite the criticism."


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