Monday, 13 June 2016

The Republic of Clough

Martin O'Neill is on the brink of becoming the new Republic of Ireland manager and is set to bring in Roy Keane as his assistant.

Former Sunderland, Celtic and Aston Villa boss O'Neill, 61, would succeed Giovanni Trapattoni in the post.

Ex-Manchester United midfielder Keane, 42, played 67 games for the Republic and managed Sunderland and Ipswich.

The Republic's next games are friendlies against Latvia on 15 November and Poland four days later.

The squad for those matches - the first of which is at home and the second away - will be named on Tuesday and O'Neill could be appointed by then.

Italian Trapattoni left in September after failing to lead the Republic to 2014 World Cup qualification.

Noel King took over on a caretaker basis for the qualifiers against Germany and Kazakhstan.

O'Neill was capped 64 times by Northern Ireland and, according to BBC reporter Pat Murphy, is ready to move into international management.

"He is very interested in the Ireland job and there seems no serious impediment to him agreeing terms in the next couple of days," said Murphy.

"Working with Keane intrigues him. He contacted Keane and was encouraged by his enthusiastic response."

Murphy added: "The Ireland players will have idolised Keane as youngsters and O'Neill will be a popular appointment in Ireland, given his success at Celtic a decade ago."

Keane caused controversy as captain when he quit the Republic squad before the 2002 World Cup after falling out with manager Mick McCarthy.

Former Republic and Liverpool midfielder Ray Houghton told BBC Radio 5 live: "I'm involved in the process of bringing the manager in.

"At the moment there are a few things under way but until things are signed we just have to wait and see.

"Something, hopefully, in the next few days will come about."

Guides Wycombe Wanderers to back-to-back promotion in 1993 and 1994
Quits as Norwich City boss after six months
Wins the League Cup with Leicester City in 1997 and 2000
Wins the domestic treble in his first season in charge of Celtic in 2000-2001
Guides Celtic to Uefa Cup final in 2003
Takes Aston Villa to League Cup final in 2010, losing to Manchester United
Sacked as Sunderland manager in March 2013 after failing to win any of his last eight games in charge

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