Houghton: O’Neill can be Roy’s guide

FAI headhunter Ray Houghton insists Roy Keane can overcome some of his managerial failings under the tutelage of Ireland’s incoming boss Martin O’Neill.

Keane has been proposed by O’Neill to the FAI as his assistant, the Corkman’s first such role following managerial stints at Sunderland and Ipswich Town.

Houghton, who along with FAI high performance director Ruud Dokter has been interviewing candidates for the vacancy in recent weeks, is certain the unlikely pairing can guide Ireland to qualification for the Euro 2016 finals and that O’Neill’s influence will bring out the best in Keane.

“I don’t see why Roy would not be interested in the assistant’s role,” said Houghton.

“I think Roy has got some things to learn when it comes to football management. He’s only been in the game a short time. If he was to go in alongside Martin then I think he’d learn a great deal from him. They’d be a good pairing if that’s the case.”

Houghton revealed there is still some work left on finalising a deal to secure the dream team. The FAI need to nail the appointment down in the coming days to allow O’Neill and Keane greet the players into their Portmarnock base on Sunday, ahead of Friday week’s friendly against Latvia at the Aviva Stadium.

He said: “There is still nothing [confirmed] at the moment. Whoever takes over, with all the candidates we’ve spoken to, it’s the same thing. The expectation of everyone is qualification to the Euros the next time around.

“There are an extra eight spots at the finals, which in essence should make it a little bit easier but it will put more pressure on the manager. We think we’ve got a decent squad and whoever comes in I think will do well with them.”


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