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12th Jun 2019

Robbie Keane considering role with Middlesbrough

Jack O'Toole

Republic of Ireland assistant manager Robbie Keane has said that he would be open to an assistant manager’s role with Middlesbrough.

Keane met with Boro chairman Steve Gibson and former teammate, and new manager, Jonathan Woodgate to discuss a potential role at the club with the former Ireland captain set to balance both gigs should he opt to follow through with the job.

Former Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane used to balance his Ireland duties with his job as an Aston Villa assistant, so there is precedent for this, but Keane insists that he still hasn’t decided if he will pursue a role at the Riverside Stadium.

“It was the first thing I nailed down with the ‘Boro Chairman Steve Gibson yesterday when I met him. That if I go in with Jonathon Woodgate, I can stay with Ireland,” said Keane as he visited Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin as part of his duties as a Euro 2020 Ambassador.

“I’ve to talk about it with my family, that’s the big thing now. The last few days have been such a whirlwind, with the Ireland games, I’ve now got to sit down and think about it and it is up to me if I want to do it.”

Keane was a teammate of Woodgate’s at both Spurs and Leeds United but he admits that he was surprised to receive a phone call from the former defender and added that he’s in no rush to dive into anything after seeking advice from other managers.

“I’ve known him for over 20 years, and I saw in the papers that he was being linked with Middlesbrough, but never imagined he would ring me about this,” Keane added.

“I don’t want to rush this decision and don’t want to rush my management career either, so I have to think about this.

“Last summer I met the World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi while I was on holidays, and he told me, ‘Robbie, don’t rush your management career, you have maybe 40 years ahead of it for you, don’t rush it.’

“So I’ve taken his words to heart and now I’ve a big decision to make, but it won’t affect Ireland, that’s for sure. If the FAI or Mick McCarthy had an issue with me considering this job, I’d just have said ‘thanks but no’ to Middlesbrough.”

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