herald

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Ireland No 2 vows not to 'annoy' squad

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI did it by text message, but in his role as Martin O'Neill's sidekick with Ireland, Roy Keane plans to do it in person.

Communication matters were one of the main issues of the Trapattoni regime, with Trap spending little time at club games involving Irish players and spending hardly any time in their company, apart from when the squad was in camp for a game. as Trap did most of his communicating by SMS.

Keane says he will be careful not to "annoy" the players available to Ireland by taking up their time with meetings and chats, but he does intend to get out more than the previous management team.

"For example, up around my neck of the woods, young Gibson (Darron) is injured. There'll be issues I'll go through with Martin, certainly touch base with these players, absolutely, and I'll come across them on my travels," says Keane.

"I've been a player myself. Players don't necessarily want staff members ringing them and saying 'what's the craic', they'll soon be ignoring your calls, trust me. There's a balance," he added with a smile.

"But hopefully there's a young player out there, any player who's having a struggle or not in the team and playing development games or reserve matches and I can go and watch them, or have a quick word with them afterwards, absolutely.

 

Challenge

"I've always been comfortable with that anyway. That's not a big challenge. There will be players from the Irish squad that we've got at the moment over the next few months will fall out of favour at their clubs no doubt, there's a few at the moment.

"There'll be lads who get bad injuries, you hope that if you get the opportunity you go and speak to them or meet them for a cup of tea at their training ground or something like that.

"You can say 'listen, you're still part of the plans, don't worry'. I think all players ultimately would enjoy that, without going over the top. We're not here to annoy players either or pester them.

"They've got busy careers and they've got busy lives and we've got to be careful with that one that we don't annoy them."

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