Roy Keane, during his most recent coaching role with Nottingham Forest in 2019. PA
Football family

'They have been made aware that Roy Keane may be interested...I just can't see it happening'

Tom English spoke to the Football Family this week, to give the lowdown on Roy Keane’s rumoured return to management with Hibernian of Scotland.

LAST UPDATE | 26 Apr 2022

ROY KEANE RETURNING to management with Hibernian is “unlikely”, according to Tom English, Chief Sports Writer with BBC Scotland. 

Keane has been heavily linked with the managerial role at Easter Road, following the sacking of Shaun Maloney last week. The Sunday Times reported that Keane has emerged as a candidate for the role, with subsequent reports saying Keane would be interested in the job. 

Keane has not had a managerial role since leaving Ipswich in 2011, but has since worked as an assistant with Ireland, Aston Villa, and Nottingham Forest. He is now a staple of Sky Sports’ Premier League coverage but has frequently spoken of a desire to get back into management, but turned down an offer from Sunderland earlier this year. 

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However, speaking on today’s edition of The Football Family podcast, Tom English doesn’t believe a return to football at Hibs is likely to happen. 

“Since the speculation broke I’ve been saying novenas on the hour hoping that it will happen, but I don’t think it will, sadly”, says Tom. “I spoke to people at Hibs yesterday, they said they have been made aware that Roy Keane may be interested: somebody around Roy Keane has said that Roy Keane might be interested. They are currently drawing up a longlist and have done no interviews, they haven’t even got to a shortlist. This is very, very early in the process.

“They sacked Shaun Maloney who was in the job for a blink of an eye until he got binned, and Ron Gordon – the American owner of the club – said in hindsight it was a mistake to appoint Shaun Maloney as he didn’t have the experience. Does Roy Keane have the experience? He has managed, but it has been 11 years. Yes he was assistant with the Republic, but Shaun Maloney was assistant with Belgium and that didn’t cut it at Easter Road.

“So I just can’t see it happening.

“The frontrunners here are Malky Mackay, the current Ross County manager and very experienced, and Derek McInnes, who has just got Kilmarnock promoted: solid, good track records, Scottish, know the scene, but the glamour figure who everyone is getting excited about is Roy Keane.”

Keane has also said in the past that he is judicious in picking who he will work for, which raises further doubts as to his suitability for Hibs. American owner Ron Gordon is currently searching for his third manager of the season, having fired Maloney after just four months in charge. 

“Ron Gordon said last week he may have been too hasty in sacking Jack Ross and may have been too hasty in appointing Shaun Maloney”, says Tom. “Full marks for his honesty, but not many marks for his decision-making. I don’t know what percentage on it but a lot of Hibs fans wanted Ross out and Ron Gordon listened to those fans. I am not sure how well that would go down with Keane: that the owner is that impressionable that he will listen to the fans. Ross had one really bad run and it cost him his job.

“Before that he was doing well, but at the first sign of trouble he was gone. I’m not sure a prospective manager of Hibs would look at that and say there’s a lot of stability.”

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First published today at 13.55

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