Thursday 5 December 2019

WATCH: 'It's called being happy... I'm always hugging people' - Roy Keane in top form

Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane
Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane
Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during a press conference in Versailles today Newsdesk Newsdesk

Roy Keane welled up and embraced Martin O'Neill and the players after Ireland tremendous 1-0 triumph over Italy on Wednesday night in Lille... but don't ask him to describe it.

A clearly overwhelmed Keane came onto the field arm-in-arm with Martin O'Neill and shared a very nice moment with Italian netminder Gianluigi Buffon as his side celebrated.

Asked about his emotional reaction, he said: "I looked happy. You're happy. It's called being happy.. Try it! It's good."

"I'm not sure what you're supposed to say after a game. Just pleased.

“Why are you making a big deal of it (hugging O'Neill)? I'm always hugging people. There’s just usually no people around. I hug my dogs, family, friends.

"People made a song and dance about it the other night because we were happy. People either think you're too grumpy or too happy, you can't win."

They enjoy a close working relationship, but that does not extend much further when they head back from international duty.

Keane said: "The manager has made it clear a number of times: we are actually not that close.

"We don't keep in touch, we don't go for meals together, but we certainly have a good professional working relationship where we obviously have lots of respect for each other, and we both enjoyed the game."

The Corkman was keen to point out that he believed the supporters had played a huge role in the team's display.

"We knew when we got involved with the senior team a couple of years ago it was going to be a tough, old road ahead with the qualification," he added.

"Really pleased for the players, the manager, the staff and the supporters, there were really great celebrations.

"You saw what it meant to the players with the interviews afterwards.

"Sometimes when you are playing a game, you are obviously doing it for yourself, your team mates, your family, the manager and the staff but I feel the players the other night really wanted to give the supporters a night to remember. "

"I felt it in my bones and they did, I think everyone really enjoyed it."

The assistant boss did express disappointment that as few as 4,500 Irish fans could be making their way through the turnstiles on Sunday for the last 16 meeting with France.

"It's just a shame that we won't have that many supporters at the next game."

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