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Roy Keane thinks the Irish players need to have 'more pride' on the ball

The assistant manager spoke about players being braver in the final third.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

ROY KEANE HAS said that Ireland’s players need to have more pride on the ball and play as a smarter team in order to improve.

Speaking this morning at the Portmarnock Hotel, Keane also drew a line under the altercation between himself and an Ireland fan last Wednesday evening.

Asked what Ireland need to do to improve on last Friday’s disappointing defeat to Scotland Keane spoke about bravery and pride.

“Have a bit more pride when you’re on it [the ball]. Play more on the front foot, give some more options for the player and the ball and have a bit more bravery, particularly in the final third.”

The Ireland and Aston Villa number two emphasised that the players should enjoy playing for their country.

“What’s important for players when they’re playing for Ireland is that they go out and enjoy it. There’s pressure of course and you want to perform but go out and enjoy it, that’s what we’re here for.

“Even, in a sense, enjoy the disappointments because it gives you a chance to bounce back.”

Ireland conceded a poor goal on Friday night, allowing the Scots too much time on the ball in the box, something that Keane is aware needs to be worked on in training.

“We have to be a smarter team, the goal we conceded the other night certainly wasn’t smart. We switched off and got punished.”

“I would’ve been saying that even if we’d drawn 0-0. Obviously the result will grab the headlines but even sometimes you can get a result and look at the performance thinking it should have been a lot, lot better.

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