Sunday 19 November 2017

Roy Keane positive about future but coy on his intentions

Roy Keane: 'Whatever we’re short in terms of quality and maybe options, we make up for it with work rate, desire, hunger'
Roy Keane: 'Whatever we’re short in terms of quality and maybe options, we make up for it with work rate, desire, hunger'
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Roy Keane believes that Ireland can build on their improvement in the second half of their successful Euro 2016 campaign to make a good impression in next summer's finals in France.

But the Corkman has admitted that he is unsure if he will be around after that tournament given his ambitions to get back into the club sphere.

The Irish assistant hailed the spirit of the players that showed the requisite composure to push Bosnia aside at the Aviva Stadium on Monday.

However, with Martin O'Neill's side set to be bottom seeds when the draw is made on December 12, Keane knows they have to improve.

"Every time you work with players from a selfish point of view, you always think there is more to come," said the number two. "You would be worried if you thought, 'That's the best that we can do', because as a manager and staff you try and improve the players.

"I've been asked about how we can keep the ball better. We just have to keep working at it. We have younger players coming through who are comfortable in possession. For as long as I can remember, we have always struggled to keep possession and that has to improve.

"Whatever we're short in terms of quality and maybe options, we make up for it with work rate, desire, hunger."

Keane has enjoyed working under O'Neill, and it is expected that the manager will sign a new deal to keep him in charge for two more years.

The Corkman will consider his own future in the coming weeks, given that he wants to get back into club management as a number one. That said, he has made it clear that he will not be actively seeking out work.

"Martin knows that I still have that ambition to get back into it (management)," he said. "I'm not really one for networking or applying for jobs but I'm enjoying my role here.

"I certainly want to stay on for the Euros then we'll play it by ear. I'm planning to meet the manager over the next couple of weeks to just have a chat, again to be fair to see where he stands and the other staff stand. But I think that Martin knows that I have that ambition to get back in the ring but I'm also loving my role with Ireland. I've been very, very lucky.

"Stuff has come up (other options) but I've always been very focused on the job. It's great to be back, working with Martin, all the players and the FAI. Everybody deserves great credit."

O'Neill and Keane's employers in Abbotstown are set for a €12m windfall from qualification, with UEFA set to finalise the exact details ahead of the draw in Paris on December 12.

Bonuses to management and players will have to be factored into the equation too, but it will help the process of selling friendly games ahead of the tournament. Switzerland are up next in March but that could change if the nations are paired together in the finals.

Irish Independent

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