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Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 26 January 2021

Roy Keane in 'tense' showdown with print media after hotel row questions

The Ireland assistant does not think he’s been a distraction.

Assistant boss Roy Keane yesterday.
Assistant boss Roy Keane yesterday.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

ROY KEANE YESTERDAY met the Irish football press corp for a sit-down press conference yesterday morning.

The Boys in Green assistant manager first faced questions, as normal, from broadcast media — the pool in which enjoys access.

Keane offered up headline-friendly quotes which referenced pop groups, talked about the role for all-time record scorer Robbie Keane and got into where he thinks our players need to improve next time out.

Then, after online, radio and TV reporters left the room in Malahide, the daily newspaper journalists had their turn. And it sounded memorable.

The Telegraph‘s Luke Edwards reports that Keane was ‘animated’ when answering questions about the alleged incident with Frank Gillespie last Wednesday night as well as the potential distraction that was the Celtic job talk and the recently-published book, The Second Half.

“What distractions are you talking about?” Keane asked. “Can I do anything about those things that come up like Celtic? The job came up, they wanted to talk to me. How’s that my fault? Do you think a book is a distraction to a group of professional people? Do me a favour.

“Then I’ve got people writing about the incident the other night, lies. Do you think I’m going to justify all that to you? You sit there and just think I’m going to answer everything. Who the hell do you think you are?

“I’ve got to answer to you? I’ve got to answer to the FAI and Martin. If we don’t get the results I’ll be gone and you won’t lose a minute’s sleep. So don’t worry about distractions.”

Emmet Malone of the Irish Times reports that moments later, when an FAI official called time on the press conference, Keane added: “What are you asking me about what Martin O’Neill might be thinking? Why don’t you ask Martin? What if we qualify? Do you think it’ll be a distraction? Do you think it was all a distraction from the result the other night?”

When a second journalist then asked a question, Keane queried if he knows Gillespie.

“You know Frank well don’t you?” said the former Man Utd skipper. “Oh, you know Frank well. Exactly.”

Ireland face the USA tomorrow night at the Aviva Stadium. Martin O’Neill will hold a pre-match press conference this afternoon in Dublin city centre.

First published at 01.27

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