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Conor Hourihane reveals advice Roy Keane gave to him before League One play-off final

The former Sunderland and Ipswich Town midfielder got some pre-match encouragement from the Republic of Ireland assistant manager.
Sep 19th 2016, 7:56 AM 8,466 7

BARNSLEY MIDFIELDER Conor Hourihane has revealed the advice given to him by Roy Keane ahead of last season’s League One play-off final.

Hourihane is familiar with Keane from their time working together at Sunderland as well as Ipswich Town, and he was given some frank words of encouragement from his fellow Cork native before the final against Millwall at Wembley.

“He wished me all the best and said that nobody remembers the losers at Wembley; you want to go there and win,” Hourihane told the Sunday Times.

“It was a fantastic call to get because I still look up to him. Hopefully we will meet again in the future.”

Keane’s pep talk appears to have worked, as Paul Heckingbottom’s side secured promotion to England’s second tier by beating the Lions 3-1, and Hourihane was a key player, providing assists for two of his side’s goals.

The 25-year-old, who captains The Tykes, has carried last season’s form – which saw him net 10 goals in 44 league appearances – into this campaign and he already has three goals in eight Championship games.

He has been a central figure in the South Yorkshire club’s positive start to the 2016-17 season, which sees them sit fourth in the table after eight games.

With Martin O’Neill set to announce his squad for Ireland’s upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Moldova this week, Hourihane will have his fingers crossed for a first senior call-up – and that reunion with Keane.

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