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'Obviously I want to stay on for the Euros' - Keane to meet O'Neill and discuss Ireland future

The Corkman is loving his time with the international set-up but still plans to return to club football in the future.

Keane and O'Neill on the touchline last night.
Keane and O'Neill on the touchline last night.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

IT IS EXACTLY two years since Roy Keane agreed to join Martin O’Neill’s managerial team and the former Ireland captain says it has been everything he had hoped for.

Having lost his way in club management after his spell at Ipswich Town didn’t go to plan, Keane surprised a few by accepting a role within the FAI as assistant manager to the senior international team.

The Corkman has never hid the fact that he would like to return to club football in the future and it looked as though he might take charge of Celtic last year before turning the position down.

Former Manchester United midfielder Keane did briefly balance being Aston Villa number two with his Ireland duties but packed that in last December

With qualification for Euro 2016 now secured, O’Neill and the rest of his backroom team are expected to be offered extensions to the two-year deals they signed in November 2013.

However, Keane is planning to sit down with the Derryman soon to discuss their futures.

“I’m going to meet Martin over the next few weeks,” Keane said. “I’m not sure about the contract situation as that was the last thing on our minds.

“Martin knows I still have the ambition to get back into it. I’m not really one for networking or applying for jobs but I’m enjoying my role here. Obviously I want to stay on for the Euros and we will play it by ear.

“I’m planning to meet the manager in the next few weeks to have a chat and see where he and all the other staff stand.

I think Martin knows I’ve got that ambition go get back in the ring but I’m also loving my role with Ireland as I’ve been very lucky.

“Stuff has come but I’ve always been focused on the job. We’ll have a look at that in the next few months.

“Will this get me back in the window? I don’t know. As I said, I’m enjoying this and it is great to be back working with Martin, the staff, the players and the FAI.

“Everyone deserves great credit as it was an effort from everyone.”

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Roy Keane, Gerard Dunne and Martin O'Neill celebrate Keane, O'Neill, Gerard Dunner, Seamus McDonagh and Steve Guppy after Ireland's qualification. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

On his experience working under the former Leicester City, Celtic and Sunderland boss, Keane says it has been an absolute pleasure.

“It has been brilliant and everything I had hoped it would be to learn and work under him. When I first spoke to him I never hesitated and it has been justified.

“That is the same with all the other staff – Seamus McDonagh, Steve Guppy, Steve Walford and all the other guys in the background.

It has worked out a treat. Obviously if we didn’t get the result last night there would have been a slightly different way of looking at it but it has been everything I had hoped it would be.

“I’ve learned a lot from him. I said it last night that I have not been doing too much. I’ve just been in the background. I’ve enjoyed working with the players and am little bit more hands-on now, which I have enjoyed.

“I haven’t surprised myself with that having previously been a manager. It has worked out well and we are delighted.”

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