Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill has had to defend more comments from his assistant Roy Keane, this time over the allegiance of Aston Villa winger Jack Grealish.
It comes after O’Neill’s assistant is reported by the Birmingham Mail newspaper to have criticised Grealish’s father, Kevin, for holding up matters.
When asked by reporters from the paper if there has been any movement on Grealish’s future, the Republic of Ireland No.2 said: “I don’t ask Jack anymore.
“Sometimes it’s respect, you don’t want to pester people but, unfortunately, a lot would be coming from Jack’s dad.
“Knowing his dad, we could be waiting a bloody long while.”
The winger is yet to decide his international future and the Republic of Ireland boss is happy to wait.
O’Neill said: ”I don’t need Roy Keane to tell me that I am not going to chase him (Jack Grealish), I’m not chasing it, the situation is there for everyone.
“I’ve spoken to Jack Grealish’s father, I’ve spoken to Jack Grealish, it’s really up to them, it’s as simple as that.”
However, the Northern Ireland man was asked if Keane’s comments were helpful, and he said he could understand the former Man Utd star’s stance.
O’Neill said: “If Jack pulls out of the U21, and wants to concentrate on his club football, good luck to him.
“I can understand that Roy’s not going to running around there asking Jack Grealish’s father has he made his mind up. Let them decide themselves.”
When asked about the tone of Keane’s comment on Grealish’s father, “we could be waiting a bloody long while,” O’Neill said Keane “has made the point.”
The journalist then stated that he wasn’t sure what point Keane was making, to which O’Neill replied: “And?”
“What do you want me to say? Seriously, what do you want me to go on and do? It is not gloom, doom and despair.”