Sport Soccer

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Keane vows to retaliate against Fergie

Roy Keane
Roy Keane
Marie Crowe

Marie Crowe

Roy Keane has vowed to come out and defend himself over the claims Alex Ferguson made about him in his book – but only when he thinks the time is right.

"There will be a day for me to go into stuff like that," said Keane when questioned about Ferguson's recently published autobiography in which Keane is portrayed in a less than favourable light.

"I've no problem with people having opinions but when people tell lies about me, ultimately you have to come out and defend yourself and I will do, but it's not today."

Keane went on to talk about anger, an emotion he feels is a good one to have, and laughed off a suggestion he had mellowed with age. "With age? What age do you think I am? I hope we all mellow. I think I have a little bit, of course. As you get older, hopefully you get a bit wiser but also you have to be ready to lock horns with people."

Keane also looked to put paid to the notion that he is the intense figure in the new management team, saying that Martin O'Neill is as demanding as he is.

"I like to do things properly; I think that's a strength. I think I know my football; I've played at a decent level. Hopefully I get that extra bit out of players," he said. "When I did work with players, I did feel at least I got the best out of them. That's a good strength as well."

Keane believes O'Neill is exceptional when it comes to man-management. "Everyone does the coaching courses, the B badge, the A badges and the Pro Licence but you've got to bring something extra, whether you're a club manager and it's recruitment or it's man-management skills. Martin's track record is excellent.

"Most players, you always get one or two, but most players I've casually come across over the years – anyone who has played for Martin – are obviously very respectful of him, which is nice, of course."

As part of his contract there will be certain demands put on Keane which include doing some work with the FAI and going to League of Ireland games, but he welcomes that challenge.

"This idea that people think it's some sort of part-time role, particularly with the assistant, they're kidding themselves. It's full-time. I know there's not a competitive match for a number of months but that doesn't mean we're not going to start planning and doing our homework. We've had a busy few days. I'm going to watch games when I'm back, I'll go to midweek games, and there will be commitments to come back to Ireland to do FAI stuff. I'm not daft. I knew that would be part of it."

One thing that Keane hopes to work on in his new role is increasing the confidence of the Irish players that they can compete at the highest level.

"I never ever remember once in my career ever sitting in a dressing-room with Ireland, and we played some big teams; Italy, Germany, the Dutch, the Portuguese. I don't ever remember looking at players and having any sort of fear and going: 'I'd take a 2-0 defeat here today'. No, no. Let's go for it.

"I don't want to be looking around the dressing-room at players who are fearful in terms of going out and doing their best. Yeah, you can be fearful of losing a game but having that self-belief that whoever is going to beat the Irish team are going to have to play well."

Sunday Independent

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