Monday 10 December 2018

Roy Keane: 'James McCarthy should expect to get kicked in midfield'

Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane
Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane

Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane has said that James McCarthy should "expect to get hit in midfield" and would be concerned if players didn't arrive at international training with niggles and knocks.

McCarthy was given the all-clear after a scan found his knee to be unaffected from an incident while playing for Everton last weekend.

“Yeah, he's back fit. He took a knock. I think if you're playing in the middle of the park you should be getting knocks every week,” Keane said at Abbotstown today.

“That's the name of the game. You're hitting people, they're hitting you. I'm always concerned when lads turn up and they haven't taken knocks. Particularly midfielders. You're supposed to be getting them. It's part of the game.”

Keane also spoke about Aiden McGeady who had been rumoured to be on the move before the transfer deadline closed yesterday.

"Listen we've always said we want our players playing regular football. Obviously we'd like Aiden to be playing regularly but he's at a good club with Everton. They've got a big squad and a lot of quality players. And they've invested a lot.”

Keane remained optimistic about his chances of involvement during the up-coming European qualifiers, with Ireland in desperate need of six points against Gibraltar and Georgia to keep alive their hopes of Euro 2016 qualification.

“Well he'll be involved because he's here. Aiden's lost a lot of football with the injury going back to pre-season. It's not ideal but I'm sure he'll do the business for us."

The former Manchester United captain also confirmed that Jonathan Walters was in "good form" after his failed bid to leave Stoke.

“Jon is obviously come into the squad this morning. We thought something might happen. He might be a little disappointed. We've got a few days to work with him. It should be fine.”

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