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Saturday 16 December 2017

Martin O'Neill: I'm not worried about headlines involving Roy Keane

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, left, is confident assistant Roy Keane, right, will benefit from his duel roles with his country and Aston Villa
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, left, is confident assistant Roy Keane, right, will benefit from his duel roles with his country and Aston Villa

MARTIN O'Neill has told Roy Keane that a series of headline grabbing incidents will have no impact on his job as Ireland No. 2 and to carry on regardless.

Claiming that the current Keane road rage saga will be proven to be exaggerated, O'Neill said that he expects that there will be more screaming headlines surrounding his assistant before too long.

"I have spoken to Roy about it. The phrase mountain out of a molehill comes to mind. I am prepared to listen to what Roy has said about the incident. When the full information comes out, I think we will see how the story has been exaggerated.

"And do you know what? I am sure there will be more incidents. Probably by next weekend," he said, laughing. With Poland in mind, O'Neill was delighted to hear good news about James McCarthy, although he took the opportunity to have a swipe at Roberto Martinez.

"I haven't spoken to Roberto since he said James McCarthy's problems came from his international matches. He only played one for us last year.

"I went to see Everton at the weekend hoping he might get into squad. He didn't but it will be sooner rather than later, which is good news."

O'Neill gave a glowing tribute to Jon Walters after his first hat-trick.

"Wasn't it absolutely brilliant? I've known him just over the year and his attitude is always first class. He's anxious to play and doesn't like to miss a game. He's an excellent example."

He was less effusive when asked about Stephen Ireland's reappearance in the Stoke City starting line-up:

"That's entirely up to the manager and how Stephen performs. "There has been no contact," said O'Neill.

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