Belfast Telegraph

Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane confirmed as new Republic of Ireland management

Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane have been confirmed as the new manager and assistant manager of the Irish football team.

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.

 

They will be providing analysis for ITV on the Manchester United v Real Sociedad game tonight in San Sebastian.

 

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

 

And Keane, who has been out of day-to-day football since leaving Ipswich early last year, has been confirmed as his assistant.

 

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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