Keane ready to start working in Irish football

Roy Keane defended his past criticisms of Irish football and
insisted on Wednesday he wouldn’t hold back from ”putting demands
on players” in his new role as assistant coach of the national
team.

The outspoken Keane was dropped from Ireland’s squad at the 2002
World Cup without kicking a ball after denouncing the preparations
for the tournament. He also criticized senior members of the
national team following their poor display at the 2012 European
Championship.

However, Keane has patched up his differences with Football
Association of Ireland officials and the former Manchester United
midfielder will work alongside newly appointed coach Martin O’Neill
through to Euro 2016.

”I’m not some sort of animal,” Keane said. ”I’m a footballing
man, I like to work hard and push people, and 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 have got a
lot of it right. Yes, there are areas I need to look at,
particularly as now I’m the assistant, when to step back, and
hopefully I get that right as well. But I am also there to push the
players.”

Despite his previous conflicts with the FAI, Keane said he had
no hesitation in joining up with O’Neill.

”One of my strong points is when I meet up with people, I have
had disagreements with in the past, I am happy to move on pretty
quickly,” Keane said. ”We wanted what was good for Irish
football, the past is the past.

”Working with Martin will be a good experience for me. Some
would see me as a threat or a troublemaker but Martin has seen
something in me that can help him.”

Keane said he recently turned down an offer to manage an
international team.