Bad cop Martin O’Neill and worse cop Roy Keane confirm FAI marriage
FAI confirms deals for new management team are signed
New Republic of Ireland manager Marting O’Neill and Roy Keane (right) in San Sebastian, Spain, on Tuesday. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images
The Derryman was alongside his new assistant this evening, ahead of Manchester United’s Champions League group game against Real Sociedad in San Sebastian, where both confirmed they will be leading Ireland through the Euro 2016 qualifiers. Practically as soon as the final whistle sounded the FAI confirmed in a statement that the contracts had been signed.
Asked by ITV’s Adrian Chiles, why exactly he chose the former Manchester United and Ireland captain as his ‘number two’, O’Neill joked: “I’ve asked myself that many a time in the last 48 hours. But he’s coming with me. Personally I think it he’ll be great for me and more importantly great for the Rep of Ireland.”
Keane barely smirked alongside him, but assured viewers and his new boss that it was “fantastic news”, adding: “I’m delighted, obviously. I’m honoured that Martin asked me to help with the team, very excited. I might not look it, but I am. I look forward to working with the players and trying to get to the Euros.
Chiles chimed: “A marriage made in heaven?”
O’Neill, doing most of the talking, for now, replied: “Well, I think I’m the bad cop, but he’s the bad, bad cop. I think we’re excited by it, it looks as if we have got something to go with, we’re looking forward to it.”
"This is a great appointment for Irish football," said FAI president Paddy McCaul this evening. "Martin was the board's preferred candidate from the outset and to have someone of the calibre of Roy Keane as his assistant manager is a real plus. I wish them every success for the coming campaign."
FAI chief executive John Delaney added: “Today, the FAI board is appointing two Irish legends as manager and assistant manager of our national team and I wish them every success in their roles."