Keane will not be a problem for Republic of Ireland, insists O’Neill

The ex-Manchester United midfielder has been seen as a controversial appointment as an assistant, but the former Sunderland boss is impressed by their early rapport.
Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill insists Roy Keane will not cause problems for his squad.

The former Aston Villa coach surprised many by choosing the ex-Manchester United captain as his assistant coach given Kean's fractious relationship with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).

However, after Ireland secured a 3-0 win over Latvia in its first match under the leadership of O’Neill and Keane, the former was quick to lavish praise on his right-hand man.

“Who knows how it may go in the next two years, but I never saw this being a problem at all,” the 61-year-old Northern Irishman told talkSPORT. “It was my decision to take Roy on. It might have been a bit of a surprise to the FAI when I said that is what I wanted to do, but I was given the go ahead to do so."

O'Neill says Kean's passion for the game should led to positive results for Ireland.

“Roy has been out of the game since his last job at Ipswich but I know he is very keen. You always see him at matches, regardless of whether he is there in a role," he said. “I can’t say for one minute that I know him fantastically well but the times we have met up with him I’ve been impressed with his enthusiasm and his willingness to work.”