The new Republic of Ireland assistant manager has revealed the 'emotional attraction' which saw him accept Martin O'Neill's offer to join the management teamIreland’s new assistant manager Roy Keane addressed the media for the first time after taking control of the team’s second training session under new management on Wednesday and explained why the opportunity to work with Martin O’Neill was “too good to turn down.”
“I’ve seen some of the matches and there’s the emotional attraction to it,” said Keane of his return to the Ireland set-up.
“I always think Ireland should be getting better results. It was the same when I was a player. I suppose that was one of the reasons I used to get frustrated. I used to think that we should be doing better than what we were doing.”
New management duo O’Neill and Keane have worked together briefly in the past, covering football matches for ITV but Keane insists that they are not a pal act: “I’ve got massive respect for Martin. We’re certainly not buddies but hopefully we’ll work well together.”
The former Manchester United skipper demonstrated that his infamous passion and high demand is
still there and he hopes to use it to the team’s benefit: “You’ve got to go into every game no matter who you’re playing, believing that you’re going to get the right result.”
“It’s easy sitting here in front of a microphone saying let’s go out there and do the business. That’s why I used to love playing,” said Keane. “We’re very driven, we’re very professional. We want to do things properly and we want to win football matches. That’s the name of the game. Win.”
Earlier in the day Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy spoke to the media, with both players stating that the training session was intense, with everybody looking to impress the new management.
“It’s exciting times, and especially under the new manager and assistant manager. We all have a point to prove and hopefully we can all impress them,” said Coleman.
McCarthy indicated that nobody is safe and everybody is trying to impress the new management, and battling for a place in the starting eleven.
“He’s brought a real buzz about the place. Everyone is competing for places and you can see that there’s real competition in training,” said McCarthy. “He’s been superb so far and I think he’ll do well here.”
Roy Keane concluded his press conference by proclaiming that his heart is fully invested in his new post and that too big a deal has been made out of his temper in the past.
“I’m not some sort of animal. I’m a footballing man. I like to work hard and push people,” said Keane. “Sometimes I suppose I have got that slightly wrong on one or two occasions over the years, but generally speaking I look back and I think I got a lot of it right.”
The Ireland number two hinted that you do not have to look too far from the tree to see that the new manager has also been known for his passionate and vocal outbursts: “You obviously don’t know Martin as well as you think you do. He makes me look like Mother Theresa,” said Keane.
The Republic of Ireland take on Latvia at the Aviva Stadium on Friday night before travelling to Poznan to face Poland on Tuesday.