Monday 23 October 2017

Keane assures Irish fans his head won't be turned by link to Owls job

17 November 2013; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during squad training ahead of their friendly international match against Poland on Tuesday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
17 November 2013; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during squad training ahead of their friendly international match against Poland on Tuesday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Garry Doyle

Roy Keane has definitively stated he has no intention of leaving his newly acquired assistant managerial role with the Republic of Ireland to enter into talks with Sheffield Wednesday.

Two weeks after Milan Mandaric, the Wednesday owner, floated the idea of approaching Keane for the vacant managerial position at the Championship club, and two days after Martin O'Neill expressed the belief that Keane would turn down an offer if one came -- the issue has finally been put to bed.

Speaking to members of Castleview AFC, a junior soccer club in Cork, Keane insisted Wednesday's situation was of no interest to him.

"I'm staying," Keane said. "We (he and O'Neill) have started something and plan to see it out. In any case, there has been no call made to me. I am in this position now and am happy here and we want to complete the job."

While the news of Keane's stance will be of some relief to O'Neill, it will not be a huge shock given that the pair discussed the matter a fortnight ago when it first arose.

"It wasn't as if we spent hours and hours going over the subject," said O'Neill, "but Roy assured me if a call was made from Sheffield Wednesday I'd be the first to know.

"Of course he wants to get back into management and put the whole Ipswich debacle out of his system. I would be wildly disappointed if he didn't.

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"But this is a great chance for him here and the reported interest from Sheffield Wednesday is not something for me to be overly concerned about."

Elsewhere, Hull City have joined the queue to speak to Irish striker Shane Long whose contract with West Brom expires next summer, and who has also attracted interest from Everton, Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest.

Despite being burned in August -- when an agreed deal with West Brom got vetoed at the 11th hour -- Hull are prepared to re-enter discussions with their Premier League rivals when the transfer window reopens next month.

Long isn't the only Irish player shaping up to move in January with Aiden McGeady and Shay Given also courting potential new employers -- McGeady interesting Everton, Hull and Newcastle, Given catching Swansea's eye.

"There is miles more to come from Aiden," said O'Neill. "I would have expected, given the natural talent he has, for him to have pushed on to an even higher stage by now. Still, it is not too late."

Given, however, has no desire to sit on the bench again after a month of first-team action at Middlesbrough. While that loan spell is coming to an end a move away from Villa Park, potentially to Swansea, seems likely.

Irish Independent

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