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Robbie Keane hails 'exciting time for Irish football' as he confirms intention to move into management

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Robbie Keane

Robbie Keane

SPORTSFILE

Robbie Keane

Robbie Keane has reaffirmed his eagerness to start his management career, after he was left out of Stephen Kenny's new-look Ireland coaching set-up.

Keane was part of Mick McCarthy's Ireland backroom staff during his second tenure as Ireland boss and had a contract to continue in a coaching role with the FAI, but he was not given a role by Kenny when he took over the senior team last month.

Speaking on the Sky Sports Football Show, Keane did not touch on Kenny's decision not to hand him a role in his set-up, but confirmed he is eager to set out on a management path of his own after also working as assistant manager to Jonathan Woodgate at Middlesbrough in recent months.

"I have been working on my coaching badges and I would like to move into management," stated Keane. "It is a learning curve for me. I have spoken to many people and they have all told me to take my time.

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"If you are going to be a coach or a manager, you could be in it for 20 years so take your time. I want to pick the brains of players and managers I've worked with over the years as this is a learning curve. "

Keane picked out former Spurs manager Martin Jol, ex-Inter Milan boss Marcelo Lippi and Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez as the best managers he worked with, alongside the now former Ireland boss McCarthy.

"I will take a lot from a few of the managers I worked for," he continued. "When I first came into the Ireland squad, I had the pleasure to work with Mick McCarthy and have worked with him again in the Ireland squad recently.

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Mick McCarthy is pictured with his assistant Robbie Keane at Stade de Genève in Switzerland last October. Photo: Sportsfile

Mick McCarthy is pictured with his assistant Robbie Keane at Stade de Genève in Switzerland last October. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Mick McCarthy is pictured with his assistant Robbie Keane at Stade de Genève in Switzerland last October. Photo: Sportsfile

"With Mick, his honesty comes across and that is the kind person I'd like to be. I learned different stuff from Martin Jol, Marcelo Lippi and Rafa was very good tactically.

"I have enjoyed working with Jonathan (Woodgate), who I believe is going to be a great manager. His attention to detail is very good.

"He is very, very honest with his players and that's very important. He is quite vibrant and is always positive around the players. When something is not right he will always tell them.

"I've really enjoyed working with him these last few months and both of us have learned a lot from each other."

Keane also painted an upbeat picture for Ireland's future under new boss Kenny, as he backed the next generation to make their mark at senior level.

"There are a lot of young players, the under-21s have done well," he said. "Troy Parrott's name has been thrown about, obviously he has only played a couple of times for Tottenham," he said,

"Connolly at Brighton could be a good player. So we are coming to a generation with a lot of good young players coming through, which is exciting for Irish football."

Meanwhile, Keane confirmed the Middlesbrough players have been advised to return to training next month, but the Dubliner suggested that target date may not be met amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

"We are going with the guidelines that we have been given for the players need to be back on May 16th," he stated.

"I find it difficult to believe that's going to happen, but we have given them a programme to do, so we are in touch with them daily. Unless we are told something different, we have to go with that."

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