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Keane backed to be Ireland hit

Dwight Yorke is convinced his former Manchester United team-mate Roy Keane can achieve far more on his return to international football than he managed in club management.

Keane is poised to become assistant to his fellow former Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill with Ireland.

His appointment will end Keane's near three-year exile from management and coaching, having been sacked by Ipswich in January 2011.

And Yorke, who played alongside Keane at Old Trafford and was later signed by the Irishman for Sunderland, is confident the no-nonsense former midfielder will prove a major success in the new role.

Yorke said of the former Ireland engine room general: "I saw him as a manager at Sunderland, he did fantastically well getting promotion up to the Premier League.

"Knowing the character for a number of years, I feel Roy Keane would be a far greater manager at international level.

"I think it's too much (as a club boss) because of the type of person he is, having to constantly relate to players, dealing with players on a daily basis, report to the board, watch reserve games, give young players contracts and deal with a whole lot of issues - I don't feel Roy Keane is that type of person.

"I feel at international level he has great presence, he has the respect from the players - all the attributes you need to be a manager at international level.

"Also, you only get the players for two or three weeks, then you say, 'There you go lads, I don't need to see you for two or three months'."

Although Keane will be going in as O'Neill's deputy, Yorke claims he has the ability to play a leading role on the world stage.

"I do believe that he would be a far greater manager than he has been given credit for," Yorke said.

The 42-year-old, who was speaking as an ambassador for his native Trinidad and Tobago at the World Travel Market in London, had nothing but praise for Keane, who has more recently joined Yorke in taking on media work.

Yorke won the 1999 Champions League at Manchester United, playing in the final that Keane missed due to suspension.

"There's two sides - when you play and when you become a manager," Yorke said.

"In my years with him at Manchester United, as a player, he was sensational. Arguably one of the best I've come across - his leadership, his winning mentality, what he demands from the players on the football pitch, the aura he presents on the football pitch - there is nobody better in the game when it comes to that."


From Belfast Telegraph