Matt Doherty struggled to explain what Roy Keane did as part of Ireland set-up 1 year ago

Matt Doherty struggled to explain what Roy Keane did as part of Ireland set-up

"I guess he was Martin's assistant."

Martin O'Neill is no longer the Republic of Ireland manager. Roy Keane has also left his post as O'Neill's assistant. The news of their departure broke on Wednesday morning.

After five years with the Ireland team, the pair left with the national side at its lowest point for a very long time.

There were some great nights across the first two campaigns and the team recorded wins over Germany, Bosnia, Italy and Austria.

But Ireland's form fell off a cliff over the last 18-months.

They lost 5-1 defeat to Denmark in the World Cup playoff second leg last November. In their next competitive game, they were hammered 4-1 in Cardiff by Wales.

Ireland haven't won a match since beating the United States in a friendly back in June, thanks to Alan Judge's goal in stoppage time. The team haven't scored a goal in six and a half hours of football. The effect O'Neill and Keane had on the squad appeared to have long evaporated.

On Wednesday, Jon Walters and James McClean posted tributes to O'Neill on social media.

However, it doesn't sound like Matt Doherty will miss the former Ireland manager or his assistant.

Speaking on 2fm show Game On, the Wolves full-back went into detail about how little preparation there was in Ireland training.

He said that the players were unsure about their roles in the team and there was no work on team shape or match tactics in training.

He also struggled to explain what role Keane played in the set-up.

He was asked, "what was Roy's role in the squad?"

Doherty paused for around six seconds as he seemed to be foraging through his brain, searching for an answer. Finally, he found a way to describe what Keane did.

"I guess he was Martin's assistant," Doherty said.

"I guess that he must have fed ideas off him on whatever he was thinking.

"It wasn't necessarily a case where he would take the session and we're doing shape (work) or, 'if the ball goes there, we're all pushing up lads'.

"It wasn't a case of him doing that at all. I guess he was just a back-up to Martin. I wouldn't say he was much of a hands-on, in terms of on the pitch, assistant.

Doherty has played four times for his country and was first called into the Ireland squad for two friendlies back in March 2016.

He said that Keane was perhaps unable to exert more influence because he was O'Neill's assistant, that if the Corkman had been the manager, maybe it would have been different.

"When players go into management, they might think they will bring their ideas forward, but when they get into it, it's difficult to do that," Doherty said.

"I guess, maybe if he was manager, then he might have a bit more responsibility, or feel like he had more responsibility."

Earlier in the show, he gave an insight into the team prepared for matches.

"Everyone thinks there wasn’t a game plan every time, that’s not entirely true. Sometimes there was, sometimes it was less clear," Doherty said.

"Compared to the set-up I have at Wolves, you could class it as old-school. When you were away with Ireland, you didn’t really have that much coaching. It was more of five-a-side or 11-a-side game, and that would be it.

"The day before a game you would do a few set-pieces here and there and then go into the game. You are kind of thinking to yourself, ‘what shape are we going to play?’

"You’d have a few players thinking 'we’ll play this shape', or someone else thinking something else. You can’t have that, especially at international football, people not really sure on what their role is the next day.

"It is bizarre, but like I said, it didn’t happen all the time. There were odd occasions when it did happen."