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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 24 October 2020

'Roy's comments were pretty much bang on. He’s not afraid to speak his mind and fair play'

Jon Walters and Robbie Keane both sat out training today as Ireland finished up the Cork leg of their pre-Euro 2016 camp.

Keane pictured at training with Shane Duffy and Seamus Coleman.
Keane pictured at training with Shane Duffy and Seamus Coleman.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

IRELAND WRAPPED UP their five-day Euro 2016 training camp with an intense session in balmy Cork this afternoon.

After enjoying a round of golf yesterday, the players were put through their paces at Fota Island but Jon Walters and Robbie Keane were two notable absentees.

It was a second day on the sidelines for Walters after he took a kick to his calf on Wednesday, while captain Keane did some rehabilitation away from the group and went on a short bike ride as he attempts to shake off a calf problem.

However, there was good news for Everton’s James McCarthy, who played a full part, and the midfielder is well on the road to recovery from a thigh injury, although, like Keane, he faces a race to be ready for the opening match with Sweden on 13 June.

It’s obviously good to be back training again with the squad and hopefully now I can kick on and step up the fitness,” McCarthy said today. “I should be fine (for the first game).”

The squad now heads to Dublin and the players have been given a free weekend to go home to their families before returning on Sunday for two final days of training ahead of their departure for France on Wednesday.

Robbie Keane with Tony McCarthy Keane with physio Tony McCarthy. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

As often is the case, assistant boss Roy Keane was the topic of discussion when the media conducted a number of interviews pitchside.

Martin O’Neill’s number two didn’t hold back with his comments in the aftermath to Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat to Belarus — questioning the commitment and ability of some of those on show at Turner’s Cross.

Jonathan Walters Walters was a spectator at today's session. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

And West Brom winger James McClean, who played on the night, agrees with the criticism.

“I thought Roy’s comments were pretty much bang on,” McClean said. “He shared it in the dressing room as well. You know Roy, he’s not afraid to speak his mind and fair play because that’s the way it should be.

Not everyone can have a good game but the bare minimum is that you give 110% in your performance. You come off the pitch not having the best of games but as least you can say ‘I put a shift in and gave everything I could’.”

Full-back Seamus Coleman was singing from the same hymn sheet.

“I don’t think Roy Keane should have to say that to any of us anyway,” added the Everton man.

“We’re professional footballers and we should know to keep our standards up. That’s coming from Roy but if we don’t know that then there is something wrong.”

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Ben Blake

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