McCarthy quashes rumours of Roy's return


Mick McCarthy faced a second revolt in the Republic of Ireland squad after rumours swept the camp that Roy Keane would be allowed to return if he issued an apology.

McCarthy sent the Corkman home last week, claiming he would not tolerate the level of abuse thrown at him.

He has since repeatedly stated he is now looking only at taking the remaining 22 "brilliant players" into the World Cup.

But upon his return from watching England's 2-2 draw with the Republic's Group E rivals Cameroon yesterday, McCarthy was forced to placate a number of squad members who were under the impression the door was open for Keane to return.

"I had to sit them down and assure them that no apology will be enough to get Roy Keane back into this squad," McCarthy said in London's Evening Standard.

"There were some angry players in that hotel; they were annoyed at the suggestion that he could merely apologise and walk back into the fold.

"I have no doubt that some of them will walk if he ever comes back. But that isn't going to happen. Roy Keane is history as far as I am concerned and we have moved on.

"I don't believe he is the sort who apologises for anything and I am not interested, even if he does have a change of heart," McCarthy said.

Keane claimed yesterday at least two of the Irish players told him they agreed with what he said but did not want to speak out for fear of losing their World Cup places. PA