As his former chairman at Sunderland, Niall Quinn says he would have no hesitation in recommending Roy Keane for a management job should the Corkman decide to return to club football after the Euros.
But while former international Quinn thinks that Keane could well move on, he reckons a good showing by Ireland at the tournament would make it more likely that Martin O’Neill would remain as manager for the 2018 World Cup campaign.
“I would be certain that they’d like to see how they did at the tournament before they make that decision,” said Quinn yesterday, “but if Martin brings this team into the next stages, I think the lure of maintaining that and making the team great over the next two to four years would be enough to make him stay on.
“Roy is maybe a little more keen to prove himself as a manager. When you’re in a No. 2 job it’s always fair to say you’d like a crack at being a No. 1.
“So it’s not as vital that he stays, as we want Martin to do, but wherever he goes next, I’d have no hesitation (in recommending him) if anyone came to me.
“After the tournament could be a great time for him to get himself back into the No. 1 frame of mind.”
Quinn also offered the opinion that, under Giovanni Trapattoni, he felt Ireland were trained too hard in the run-up to Euro 2012 with the result that the players were tired in the tournament itself. By contrast, he believes that, for Euro 2016, O’Neill will “cool down and heat up” preparations appropriately, so that, physically and mentally, the team will be “in a great place” for the kick off on June 13.
“He passes the baton on to the players to create this spirit,” Quinn observed. “I saw him do it at Sunderland. We were in the bottom three. Within a few months we were in the top eight and had beaten Arsenal. There were things he got the same group of players to do – players who were jaded, playing nervously because they were in the bottom three – that have taken longer to do with Ireland, because they were going away for a few months (after games) and he wouldn’t see them. It has taken a while for it all to knit into place. But the night against Germany changed everything.”
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