Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane has refused to comment on the chances of him becoming Celtic manager, in the immediate wake of the news that Ronny Deila will leave the club this summer,writes Denis Hurley.
Keane was at a Bord Gáis Energy ‘Winning in Business’ event at Cork’s Clarion Hotel when the news broke, speaking as part of a panel discussion with Clare hurling coach Dónal Óg Cusack and former Ireland women’s rugby captain Fiona Coughlan.
— Alison Comyn (@alisoncomyn) April 20, 2016
Earlier, he had to sheepishly admit to interviewer Conor Brophy that his phone had gone off and, when asked by the overall event presenter Alison Comyn if the call had been from Celtic, he initially said that it had been his wife before addressing it.
“I’ve two jobs, ITV and Ireland!” he said.
“Nah, no. No comment.”
At the beginning of the discussion, Brophy had asked if getting back into management was a longer-term aim.
“And the shorter term, as well,” he said.
“I’m not going to be an assistant for the next 20 years, having said that I am enjoying my role.”
Being a manager would provide the best on-the-job learning experience, in Keane’s view.
“You have to learn from your own mistakes,” he said.
“It’s no good me analysing Martin [O’Neill] all the time, obviously I’ve my own personality and hopefully I can get back into that soon.
“Obviously, I’m under contract until the summer with the FAI and I’m not going to lose sight of that.
“There are always jobs out there and I’m not going to out looking for jobs, if people want you they come looking for you. I’m enjoying it with Martin, but the best place for me to learn is back in the hotseat.”
Before then, though, Keane will be alongside O’Neill at the European Championship and he’s keen to ensure that the Ireland don’t settle for just having qualified.
“People say that it’s great that we got there and it is, but you want to have an impact,” he said.
“You don’t want to be patting yourself on the back saying, ‘It’s great that we qualified’.
“Martin’s a very good manager in knowing what the strengths are. We’re short in some areas but look at the strengths – we’ve a great spirit and, as a coach, I know that these lads are going to have a go. It’s a great comfort on the sideline – you might get beaten but you know that they’ll have a go.”