Sport Soccer

Friday 19 January 2018

FAI sure Roy Keane won't walk away

Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane
Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

THE FAI have received no official approach from Sheffield Wednesday regarding the availability of Roy Keane and are certain that he will remain on board as Martin O'Neill's No 2 even if an offer materialises.

Wednesday owner Milan Mandaric suggested over the weekend that Keane was in his mind as a candidate for the vacant manager's position at the struggling Championship club.

"If I am going to do anything with Roy, I will have to call the federation (FAI) and see if I can get a chance to talk to him," said Mandaric.

"You have to go through the channels for something like that. I will probably look into that.

"Roy took the job with Martin O'Neill so it would be difficult to move him out of there. I would like to look at him. He has a superb personality and won promotion with Sunderland."

Mandaric indicated that he has constructed a five-man shortlist, with Stuart Pearce and former Leeds and Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink also strongly linked with the role.

Sources close to Keane share the FAI's feeling that he will stay loyal to O'Neill if an approach developed but, ironically enough, the Wednesday job is exactly the kind of opportunity he craved when he was out of work. Mandaric has twice overlooked Keane during his time in control of the club.

Keane's name was mentioned in relation to a number of Championship clubs during his prolonged stint out of the game and, while he had reservations about some of the prospective employers, he was attracted by Wednesday's potential.

He is keen to become a No 1 again in the future, but has committed to learning under O'Neill in the international sphere.

When O'Neill was unveiled, he was asked about the possibility of a club making a move for his assistant and stressed that he expected the 42-year-old to stick around for the duration of the Euro 2016 campaign and then possibly pursue his own ambitions.

"I am taking Roy absolutely on trust here and he wants to complete it as well," said O'Neill last month.

"Maybe I'm speaking for him but I've got complete trust in Roy that that's what he wants to do.

"I don't think he's wishing to run out at the drop of a hat. I think he's appreciative of the opportunity that this is affording him and I think it's up to him then to push on. And that's what I expect."

Job sharing is not considered a realistic option, with Keane throwing himself into his new brief and taking in a number of games every week, from senior to U-21 level.

On Saturday, he watched Chris Hughton's Norwich triumph at West Brom, where Wes Hoolahan was an unused substitute and Shane Long came on at half-time.

Irish Independent

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