Belfast Telegraph

This is what makes Martin O'Neill like Alex Ferguson and Brian Clough, explains Keane


By Daniel McDonnell

Roy Keane believes that the pressure of a play-off brings out the best in Martin O'Neill and feels the Republic of Ireland manager's ability to strike the right tone in a big match build- up puts him in the same bracket as Alex Ferguson and Brian Clough.

The Republic assistant - who hinted that he was open to staying on for another two years working with O'Neill - says that the squad preparing for the crunch World Cup play-off showdown with Denmark couldn't be 'in better hands' for an occasion of this magnitude.

Keane's relationship with Ferguson broke down at the end of his stay with Manchester United, but he agreed there are parallels between the Kilrea man and the Scot when it comes to handling weeks like this one. "The key to the really top managers - and I go back to the managers whom I worked with - is saying the right thing at the right time," said Keane. "Obviously that will not be through the media but at a team talk, maybe in the dressing room, maybe at half-time, pre-match or even the hotel.

"And I know that if I was a player, I (would) like Martin's messages. Of course you are going to say that I have to say that because I work with him."

Belfast Telegraph


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