Thursday 20 June 2019

Jon Walters says he had no clear-the-air talks with Roy Keane after summer bust-up

Roy Keane and Jonathan Walters
Roy Keane and Jonathan Walters
Walters: Not talking about Keane row. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Jon Walters has confirmed he did not hold any clear-the-air talks with Roy Keane after their summer disagreement but stressed he was never going to let a personal issue halt his Irish career.

The injured striker has declined to go into detail on his history with Keane because he doesn't want to cause another distraction ahead of the forthcoming double-header with Denmark and Wales.

He is now out of the equation for six months after damaging his Achilles, a devastating blow that cut short his loan spell at Ipswich.

It has also deprived him of the opportunity to play his part in atoning for what he described as an "embarrassing" night in Cardiff last month.

That Nations League reverse was just one aspect of a dramatic period with the details of Keane's strife with Harry Arter and Walters coming out via a leaked Stephen Ward WhatsApp message to friends.

Arter decided to stay away from last month's gathering but has been welcomed back into the fold after a chat with Keane.

However, Walters yesterday told the Keith Andrews Show on offtheball.com that he didn't need to speak with the Corkman about their issues.

"I didn't have a phone call," said Walters. "I just got on with it. Did we have a sit-down or talk through? No. That's where it is.

"Whether that's me, I don't know. I just carried on. I always want to play and was very proud to. Nothing's going to stop me from turning up to do that."

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In the Ward audio, it was suggested that Walters had invited Keane to his hotel room to sort out their differences - an offer that was declined.

"That's what Stephen Ward said, I don't want to go into it too much," said Walters.

"We've got a massive week coming up, make no bones about it. Denmark beat us comfortably. Wales beat us comfortably. That's got to change.

"I don't want to cause any issues before that or give people anything else to talk about apart from the lads that are in there.

"Now is not the best time to go into or talk about it. It's not really my thing to do that and put my side of it across."

However, Walters did allude to the fact that he was aware of Keane's style from when they worked together at Ipswich - and it might be a culture shock for fresher faces.

"I think everyone knows how Roy is," he said. "It's something I know but other people might not. I can deal with it in my own way and that's part and parcel of it.

"Martin is the manager, Roy is the assistant and that's the way it is. You deal with what's there. It's different for younger lads if they haven't come across this before. And football is changing; it's different to what it used to be like."

Walters conceded that Ireland need big performances in Dublin and admitted that the Wales performance was deeply disappointing.

"It's still a sore point," he said. "I haven't played in many games like that when I felt that - as a team - we were that far off it. Germany at home (under Trapattoni) is another one.

"As players you go out looking to press and do this and that but then suddenly you don't - or a couple of players do - and they are through you like a knife through butter.

"I was impressed with Wales and how they played. Playing against it was hard to take. It was embarrassing to play in - an embarrassing feeling."

Irish Independent

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