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11th Oct 2023

Roy Keane on what it would take to return to management

Lee Costello

Roy Keane

“I’m still agitated every Saturday, about not having a team.”

Roy Keane has admitted that he would go back into management if the right job came up, despite not managing a team in over a decade.

Keane has still been involved in coaching, working as an assistant to Martin O’Neill for both the Republic of Ireland and Nottingham Forest, but primarily the Irishman is best known for his work in punditry.

Speaking on the latest episode of the Stick to Football podcast, Keane was asked if he would be interesting in returning to the life of a ‘gaffer’.

“I would like to go back in, yeah. I would like another crack at it.”

“You have a two year contract with Stick to Football,” snipped Gary Neville, who was hosting the show.

“There’s a few clauses Gary, as you well know, my clauses,” laughed Keane.

Roy Keane on what it would take to go back into management.

The panel were discussing the possibility of former United star Wayne Rooney taking the Birmingham City job, and the challenges he could be facing in that role.

Jamie Carragher then took the opportunity to ask Keane why people like himself and Rooney, are so keen to return to management.

“I worked as an assistant with Ireland, I worked under Martin O’Neill at Forest, but I think its just the challenge of getting back in.

“Obviously I have been out of management for a number of years now, but still on a Saturday, I’m still agitated every Saturday, about not having a team, and I haven’t managed for nine, 10 or 11 years, so it never goes away.

“But it’s about what opportunity you were going to get. I know when I went to Sunderland it wasn’t easy, Ipswich was a tough challenge – Wayne is coming to Birmingham, I know there’s new owners there, I think it depends on the club, the timing, the contract.

“Sometimes you think, I would like a challenge, you speak to a club, but you have to look at the contract, you got to have a bit of self worth, do you think you want to go in and face them challenges?

“Like if Wayne takes the Birmingham job – he won’t have lots to spend, he might not be able to bring in ten staff, the wages might not be great, but that’s up to the person if they want to take that challenge in front of them.”

Roy Keane on the differences between managing and coaching.

Management and coaching are two very different roles, with the former being a position where you oversee everything and make the big calls, and coaching is more on the ground stuff, and being a lot more involved.

Keane explains which position he would prefer and why.

“There is a difference obviously. Some people love being out on the grass, love coaching, I probably wasn’t one of them. But I like making the bigger decisions, but other lads aren’t interested in picking the team, going to board meetings, or dealing with the media.

“You do have to make your mind up. I know clubs have changed recently like with Pep and Klopp, they are very hands on, and focus on the coaching.

“But other managers we played under, like Alex Ferguson or Brian Clough, they were very much like – let other other people coach, I’ll step back and obviously make the big decisions.”

With Stephen Kenny position as Ireland manager under threat, there could be a vacancy there in the near future, so it would be interesting to see if Keane is approached about the job, and if they were able to meet his requirements.

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