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Martin O'Neill-Roy Keane team could be 'train-wreck', says Eamon Dunphy

Updated: Tuesday, 05 Nov 2013 13:06 | Comments

Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane are due to appear on ITV tomorrow night
Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane are due to appear on ITV tomorrow night

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Eamon Dunphy says the combination of Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane as the new Republic of Ireland management team could be a "train-wreck".

It is understood that the Football Association of Ireland are eager to make an announcement before the pair travel to Spain today for Champions League duty with ITV.

But the association may have to wait until they return later in the week.

And RTÉ pundit Eamon Dunphy has given his backing to the duo but added that at first he thought it was a "gimmick". 

“From a purely footballing perspective, getting Martin O’Neill is a big deal," Dunphy told RTÉ.

“I think he’s an outstanding manager, he’s strong, smart, a difficult guy in his own way but there’ll be no more messing. I think we’ve had seven years of messing since the Steve Staunton era; [former manager Giovanni] Trapattoni never really worked at the job, despite his stellar CV he never really put the work in.

"Martin O’Neill will get rid of all that nonsense. We can be confident now that the best team will be picked.

"Decisions will be made on a reasonable basis.

"The Keane element when I first heard it, I thought it was a gimmick, I thought it was a train-wreck but reflecting on it and speaking to other people like John Giles, I think the Keane factor will create excitement and interest and a buzz around the team.

"There is the potential there for a train-wreck, there’s no doubt about it, especially at the press conferences."

"The Keane element when I first heard it, I thought it was a gimmick" - Eamon Dunphy

If the appointment is confirmed, one of the issues to be discussed as Ireland bid to qualify for the European Championships in 2016, according to Dunphy,  is the future of captain Robbie Keane, who will turn 34 next summer.

Dunphy said: “What to do about Robbie Keane? Is he good enough to play? Is he playing in a league, the MLS in America, that’s good enough for European soccer at the highest level?

"Decisions like that – I think they can tease it out together sometimes. And I think that would be Keane’s role.” 

Other names being mentioned for the ex-Celtic manager’s backroom team include coach Steven Walford, who has worked extensively with O’Neill, former Irish international Seamus McDonagh as goalkeeping coach, and Steve Guppy, a set-piece expert. 

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