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12th Sep 2023

“If someone from the FAI rang him, I’m sure he would entertain that conversation”

Niall McIntyre


Could Roy Keane be the next Republic of Ireland manager?

Clinton Morrison and Alan Cawley would certainly back him in whatever he does.

Morrison, who scored nine goals in 36 appearances for the Republic of Ireland says that, as a player and in punditry, there are few better than the Cork man.

“Everyone would tell you that when I was in the Ireland squad, I was like Roy’s annoying little brother, I was always asking him questions because I liked Roy.

“Sometimes I probably asked too many questions and annoyed him and he probably told me that but he was a person I looked up to.

“He’s the one who said to me ‘train how you play.’

“You can’t just turn it on in matches. I remember we used to have 11 vs 11 vs the 21s and he used to be smashing people. I got on really well with Roy, I’ve so much admiration for him,” added the Sky Bet ambassador.

Meanwhile, on SportsJOE’s House of Football, as rumours continue to swirl about Stephen Kenny’s future as Republic of Ireland manager, Keane was discussed as a potential replacement for Kenny down the line.

Football Pundit Alan Cawley sees potential in the idea and, if nothing else, feels that Keane would certainly entertain the idea.

“Roy has always spoken about going back into management. I don’t think he’ll go back at club level. Maybe he’s shied away from club management because things have gone so well in punditry for him.

“You won’t know until you ask him. But I’m sure if someone from the FAI rang him and asked him about managing the national team, I’m sure he would entertain that conversation. 100%.

“I really do think he’d entertain the idea. Whether he’d take it I don’t know, but he would definitely have a conversation.”

“My only fear, if he was to get it, that it would be like the publicity side of things, that that was why he’d be given the job. He wouldn’t want that. He’d want to be given the job on his merits, ‘you’re the man we see as fit for the job.”

Some feel that Keane is too direct to handle a modern dressing room but Cawley reckons that, at this stage, Keane would be clever enough to navigate his way around that worry.

“I think to be fair, his work around Sky, even though the modern game probably infuriates the life out of him, he’s just had to adapt to it.

“Being around the likes of Neville and Carragher too. Ultimately, he comes to a conclusion this is the way it is, because he is a clever guy as well.”

Morrison, meanwhile, reckons Keane has the perfect blend of knowing when to be serious and when to have a laugh.

“He just tells you how it is. He don’t care what it is. He has fun. He can have a laugh and be serious and when you’ve won what he’s won, if he tells you you’re not good enough, you’re not good enough.”

“Clinton Morrison was speaking as one of the judges for Sky Bet’s Real Football Number Ones campaign, looking for the heroes who aren’t always on the pitch, but are constantly making a difference to the beautiful game.”