Tuesday 10 December 2019

Martin O'Neill urges Keane and Ferguson to bury hatchet

Soccer

Alex Ferguson and Roy Keane in 2005
Alex Ferguson and Roy Keane in 2005
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has called on his assistant Roy Keane and his former Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson to bring an end to their feud (Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE)
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill believes the duo were "brilliant for each other over a number of years" and "it'd be nice if at some stage or another they recognise that publically" (David Maher / SPORTSFILE)
Martin O'Neill believes current assistant manager Roy Keane was a "vital cog" and "one of the top three or four signings Alex Ferguson made would be Keane" (David Maher / SPORTSFILE)
Pictured here in February 2000, Martin O'Neill believes Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Roy Keane "were brilliant for each other over a number of years and I think that's something that shouldn't be forgotten over time. I know that deep down they know they were superb for each other" (Dave Maher/SPORTSFILE)
Pictured is legendary former professional football player and current Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane who marked the launch of his new book 'The Second Half' at an exclusive Eason event in the RDS. Joined on stage with co-author of the book, Roddy Doyle (David Maher / SPORTSFILE)
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

IRELAND manager Martin O'Neill has called on his assistant Roy Keane and his former Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson to bring an end to their feud.

Keane and Ferguson's relationship broke down in the period building up to the Corkman's sudden departure from Old Trafford in 2005, and the release of their respective autobiographies brought old tensions bubbling to the surface again.

Speaking ahead of this week's Euro 2016 qualifier in Ferguson's native city of Glasgow, O'Neill said that the pair should remember the good work they did together in happier times.

"Manchester United have been incredibly successful and these men were two fundamental factors in this," said O'Neill. "To stay at any football club for such a length of time is incredible; to stay at a club like Manchester United that was demanding then sustaining such success is even more so.

"Roy Keane was a vital cog in that. If you were to ask Sir Alex Ferguson, I'd bet one of the top three or four signings he made would be Roy Keane.

"The two of them were brilliant for each other over a number of years and I think that's something that shouldn't be forgotten over time. I know that deep down they know they were superb for each other."

"Who am I to step into anyone else's argument, who am I to intervene? I'm not (doing) that, but what I maintain is that the two of them were magnificent for each other and it'd be nice if at some stage or another they recognise that publicly."

This week, O'Neill and Keane are concentrated on the seismic encounter with Scotland in Glasgow.

The Ireland squad assembled in Malahide last night with Glenn Whelan a surprise attendee after his name was omitted from the trimmed-down 27-man panel that was revealed earlier in the day.

The midfielder is desperate to prove that he can recover from a fracture in his leg and O'Neill is prepared to give him every chance.

James McCarthy has flown in to be assessed by Irish medical staff after damaging his hamstring on Everton duty at Sunderland.

Marc Wilson is out after pulling up with a similar complaint in Stoke's win at Spurs.

But there is also fresh blood in the squad, with international clearance paving the way for Ipswich striker David McGoldrick and Derby defender Cyrus Christie to come into the fold.

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