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Martin O'Neill expects Keano to stay on to see through Euro qualification bid

The Ireland boss joked he’d bomb out the Corkman if there was too many rows.

Roy Keane puts out the cones yesterday.
Roy Keane puts out the cones yesterday.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

IRELAND MANAGER MARTIN O’Neill says he thinks Roy Keane will continue in his role as his assistant manager.

Keane recently turned down the chance to manage Celtic and has been linked with a role on Paul Lambert’s staff at Aston Villa.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s international friendly with Portugal in New Jersey however, O’Neill insisted Keane will stay on with the FAI as Ireland face into a crucial qualification period this autumn,

“Very much so, yeah. But that’s always been my view, very much so from the start,” O’Neill said when asked if Keane was here to stay. ”I think you think I just make it up as I go along.

“I said that from day one that he was excellent around the players, he has added little bits here and he’s also only retired not that long ago so he’s still an iconic figure, players would relate to him in that aspect so all of those things are great.

“Do I expect him to blow up one day? Absolutely, yeah, of course,” he joked. “It will probably come today. We can deal with all of that, you know? If he blows up too often then we’ll bomb him out.”

O’Neill is preparing his side to take on a World Cup-bound Portuguese side that could well feature Ballon D’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.  There’s a couple of end-of-season injury worries for the Boys in Green.

“Shane Duffy has a calf problem and he didn’t train today, I would say he would be doubtful,” O’Neill said. 

“Shane Long has a long-standing back problem as you would know, I think he missed a couple of months when he was with West Bromwich Albion and that’s been playing up a little bit, too.

Stepehn Kelly with Roy Keane 9/6/2014 Keane gives defender Stephen Kelly some advice during squad training. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

“He did a little bit of training this morning, it wasn’t extensive in that sense and we’ll see if that will stiffen up so we’re not sure about him at this minute as well.

“We’ll see about those things tomorrow night but I’m not saying big Shane would have played in the game but certainly Longy we’ll see how he is in the morning. Glenn’s gone and Jon Walters has come back, of course. He’s absolutely fine.”

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