'He's always in your ear giving words of advice' - Conor Hourihane praises Roy Keane's Ireland contribution
Ireland midfielder Conor Hourihane has heaped praise on Roy Keane's contribution to Martin O'Neill's squad after a week that has seen the assistant manager come under fire for his dealings with players.
Cardiff midfielder Harry Arter has stepped away from international football off the back of a training ground altercation with Keane over the summer, leading to questions about how the Man United legend interacts with the players in the squad.
However, speaking ahead of Thursday's UEFA Nations League fixture against Wales, Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane said that Keane has been a big influence on his development and praised the contributions he has made as Ireland assistant manager.
"He keeps you on your toes," Hourihane told RTÉ.
"He's always in your ear giving words of advice. If you let standards go any little bit, he's on the case, so that's fantastic to have as well."
"Roy's been fantastic with myself ever since I've been young, obviously being from Cork," added Hourihane.
"He signed me a couple of times, at Sunderland and Ipswich. He's always been giving me words of advice along the way. He's been first class to myself, so I've only got high words to speak about Roy without a doubt.
"Roy was one of the best midfielders we produced in this country. He's won countless trophies and caps, if you can learn anything off him, especially as a midfielder like myself, it'll only improve your game. He's been fantastic with me."