For the first time since the departure of Giovanni Trapattoni, Ireland captain and LA Galaxy star Robbie Keane has made his feelings clear about the national side’s successor.
Speaking ahead of the World Cup qualifier with Kazakhstan, the Ireland captain told reporters of the qualities he is looking for in the country's next permanent head coach.
"I want someone who is honest, who doesn’t mess around, who understands how important it is to be proud to be an international manager, to be proud of what we are trying to achieve in Ireland," Keane said at the pre-game press conference. “Someone who is honest, somebody who has balls, you know ... someone who doesn’t take any [expletive] from anyone.”
Keane was asked if this meant he wanted a manager capable of standing up to players.
“Everything to be honest with you, I don’t want to be specific on certain things but I think [he needs to do] everything," Keane said. “Whatever you think that that is, then that’s probably right. Probably everything that comes into being an international manager, knowing that if someone doesn’t get picked or something like that, are you going to be upset with a manager who is very strong in his views?”
The topic of the new manager was high on the agenda when Keane was pressed on the possibility about Mick McCarthy returning to the helm. The forward admitted he'd be delighted if the former Ireland boss was reappointed to the position.
“Mick is a good man, and he ticks all the right boxes for what we’ve talked about so why not?” Keane said. “Many countries have done it before where they have welcomed back managers, and why should we be any different but it would be the same for Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane.
"I don’t know who is in the running but the managers mentioned have been names I’ve liked.”
While the Republic’s record goalscorer admitted he might not be ready for it himself, he revealed managing his country is certainly an ambition.
“Not at the moment, it’s clearly something that in the future I’d consider after I do my coaching badges, which I will do but that’s all a fair way off in the future,” Keane said.
Keane has been passed fit for the clash with Kazakhstan after missing Friday’s 3-0 defeat to Germany in Cologne with an ankle injury and is set to win his 130th international cap at the Aviva Stadium.