Monday 24 September 2018

Keane hints at staying on with Ireland

Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane. Photo: Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane. Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

Roy Keane insists Ireland will "bounce back" after their play-off humiliation dropped them seven places in the FIFA rankings.

Failing to clear the final obstacle against Denmark meant Ireland fell back to 32nd in yesterday's latest listings.

Ireland's seeding for the 2020 European Championship qualification draw in December 2018 will be determined on how they fare in the inaugural UEFA Nations League, which takes place between next September and November.

As it stands, Ireland will be third seeds in a pool from which only the top two qualify, with the play-off route that got Ireland to France last time now discarded.

"It was a tough night," Keane told ITV in his first public comments about the 5-1 home humbling 10 days ago.

"We were heavily punished and took our medicine. But we look to bounce back."

At a time when the continuation of O'Neill and Keane in their posts remains shrouded in doubt, the Corkman's sentiments indicate they're planning to stick around.

Ireland should have Alan Judge available for the next friendlies in March after the winger returned to full training with Brentford yesterday.

Judge hasn't played since breaking a leg in a Championship game 18 months ago, just a fortnight after making his debut against Switzerland.

On the domestic front, Dundalk are set to lose last season's leading scorer David McMillan to SPL club St Johnstone. "At 28, David has got a lot of experience and will be a very good addition to the squad here," said Saints boss Tommy Wright. "Primarily I look at the number of goals he has scored and I think he can replicate that for us."

Meanwhile, the friction between Galway United and their Eamonn Deasy Park landlords took a new twist last night shen Galway FA chairman Ger Gibbons resigned.

"The main reason is this constant negative attitude towards Galway United," he said in his letter to clubs.

Irish Independent

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