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


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


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


”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


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.