Belfast Telegraph

Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane: 'Bad cop, and bad bad cop' as pair confirmed as Republic football squad's management team

Martin O'Neill has it will be 'bad cop, and bad, bad cop' with him and Roy Keane as the pair were confirmed as the new management team of the Republic of Ireland football team.

Speaking on ITV tonight, the new Republic boss O'Neill said the addition of Roy Keane as assistant manager was "personally great for me, and for the the Republic".

Commenting during Tuesday evening's Manchester United v Real Sociedad game tonight, he said he was excited by the new opportunity.

Meanwhile, Roy Keane said he was looking forward to the upcoming qualifying ahead of Euro 2016.

The FAI confirmed on their official Twitter feed on Tuesday evening that the duo would be in charge for next month's friendly against Latvia

The tweet read: "O'Neill & Keane's 1st game leading Ireland will be v Latvia in @AVIVAStadium Fri Nov 15."

Asked if the new management team was a marriage made in heaven, O'Neill said with a smile: "Well, I think I'm the bad cop and he's the bad, bad cop.

"We're excited by it. It looks like we've something to go with. I'm looking forward to it greatly."

Keane added: "It's fantastic news. I'm honoured that Martin has asked me to come and help him with the team.

"I'm very excited - I might not look it, but I am. I look forward to working with the players and trying to get to the Euros."

O'Neill is expected to be formally unveiled at a press conference on Saturday after opting to resume his career on the international stage a little more than seven months after parting company with last club Sunderland.

He sprang something of a surprise when it emerged that he had sounded out former Black Cats and Ipswich boss Keane about playing a part, but a partnership which will certainly capture the imagination of the Republic's fans has now become a reality.

Asked why he had chosen Keane, he joked: "I've asked myself that many a time over the last 48 hours.

"He's coming with me. Personally speaking, I think he'll be great for me, but more importantly, he'll be great for the Republic of Ireland."

Earlier today the FAI has issued a statement with the news that will delight the majority of Republic of Ireland fans, teaming the vastly-experienced O'Neill with the divisive Keane.

The statement came in a tweet from the FAI, saying: "We can confirm that the management appointment process with Martin O'Neill & Roy Keane is at an advanced stage."

It had been expected that the unveiling of the pair would be delayed because both O'Neill and Keane have television commitments in their role as pundits.

However, the FAI moved to confirm the appointment of the former Sunderland, Celtic and Leicester manager as the new Irish boss to replace Giovanni Trapattoni, earlier on Tuesday morning.

The rest of the management team has yet to be confirmed. The combined package is set to cost the FAI over €2m a year.

Ireland have been without a permanent manager since the September departure of Giovanni Trapattoni, after which the experienced O'Neill quickly became the leading candidate.

Ireland Under-21 boss Noel King took over on September 23 for the final two games of the failed World Cup quailfying campaign. Ireland lost 3-0 away to Germany and beat Kazahkstan 3-1 at home.

O'Neill and Keane have a limited window of time to adjust to their new positions, with decisions to be made ahead of the forthcoming friendlies with Latvia and Poland.

The duo spoke at length last week about the possibility of the Corkman coming on board, but the trip to Spain will allow them to plot the road ahead in greater detail.

The Ireland squad are due to assemble in Portmarnock on Sunday evening – but players have yet to be informed whether  they made the final cut.

With such a huge level of interest in the FAI's new 'dream team' there will be particularly heavy focus on the training ground optics in the build-up to Friday week's meeting with the Latvians in Dublin.

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