Friday 20 September 2019

Roy Keane involved in heated 'altercations' with Ireland players during summer friendlies

1 June 2018; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, right, and assistant manager Roy Keane during training at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
1 June 2018; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, right, and assistant manager Roy Keane during training at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has revealed that Roy Keane was involved in 'altercations' with players during the recent summer friendlies - but that the disagreements have been 'defused'.

The Irish Mirror is reporting that Keane became involved in an arguement with Harry Arter and Jon Walters on the training ground ahead of the game against the USA at the Aviva Stadium.

O'Neill confirmed that the incident took place but says that it was quickly resolved.

"I’m not denying there hasn’t been altercations," O’Neill told the paper.

"But the situation has definitely been defused and it’s just part of things. In one of the particular arguments, the two lads - Roy and the particular player - were actually in agreement about the same thing but it took them time to realise it.

"Roy has been a big supporter of Jon, for instance, as he is particularly close to one of the Burnley coaching staff and is always keeping Jon’s end up. But I can’t say there wasn’t an altercation - absolutely."

Meanwhile, the Ireland manager has also praised Seamus Coleman as he continues his return from a horrific leg break, saying that he is good enough to play for any of the top sides in the Premier League.

"I think Seamus is a very loyal fellow," said O'Neill, "He's shown great loyalty to Everton and it was nice to see Everton reward him with a contract when he was injured. That was great. It worked both ways at the end of the day and Everton are still a very fine club.

"They are doing their utmost this season to try and break into the top group and Seamus will get a lot of enjoyment out of that if that's the case.

"It looks as if Everton do want to really have a go and Seamus is such a loyal person, in that sense, he will feel that's a challenge.

"But do I think Seamus Coleman could play in any of the sides above Everton? Absolutely."

Online Editors

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport