HE MAY HAVE had a watching brief when it comes to the Ireland set-up in the last number of years but that doesn’t mean Roy Keane wasn’t paying close attention and what he saw didn’t always please him.
In his first press conference as the new Ireland assistant manager, Keane hinted the current batch of players weren’t too unlike those he played with, it’s just the results that were different.
“Well the results haven’t been great over the past few years,” said Keane.
“From my own experience when I played for Ireland we always seemed to get good results. We always felt we had a chance of getting a result in every match we went into. It didn’t always happen of course, because you come against top teams. But I hope that surely they go into every game thinking they can get the right result.
“But our record hasn’t been great against some of the top teams — and Ireland have played some of the top teams over the past few years. The Germanys of this world have been outstanding.
“But whether you look at the Swedens, the Austrias and all these… I think Ireland should be getting better results.”
The former Ireland captain admitted that failing to perform to expectations happened on his watch too, and was one of the more frustrating aspects of being a footballer. However, he hopes his experiences will benefit the players he and Martin O’Neill are now tasked with managing.
“I suppose that was one of the reasons I used to get frustrated. I always felt we should be doing better than what we’re doing.
“And we’ll try to get that message to the players and hopefully they’ll plug into it. I know Martin will have the same mindset as me, saying listen you’ve got to go into every game, no matter who you’re playing believing you can get the right result.”
The 42-year old admits that’s easier said than done though.
“Of course it’s easy for me sitting in front of a microphone saying listen go out and do the business.
“That’s why I used to love playing; there’s only so much talking you can do. It’s about going out and doing the business and hopefully we start with that on Friday night.
While Keane hinted that he and O’Neill wouldn’t be able to change the mindset and philosophy of the team overnight, they did have time on their side.
“Hopefully, come the qualifiers in September in particular, the players will have an idea of what me and Martin are about. We’re very professional, very driven, we want to do things the right way and we want to win football matches.
“That’s the name of the game — to win.”