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Keane focused on the Republic of Ireland, not Celtic

Roy Keane insisted he is only focused on the Republic of Ireland, despite speculation linking him with a return to club management with Celtic ahead of Euro 2016.

Celtic will part ways with Ronny Deila at the end of the season, and former midfielder Keane has emerged as a potential replacement.

Keane spent six months in Glasgow following his Manchester United departure in November 2005.

But the 44-year-old said he has not been approached by the Scottish champions and has no offers on the table.

“The only time you think you might be interested in a job, or the only time you know, is if you’re asked,” Keane told ESPN’s Beyond the Pitch podcast.

“So this idea of speculation about other clubs … there’s always club jobs coming up.

“There’ll be club jobs coming up over the next few weeks. But until someone asks you the question, ‘would you take that job?’, there’s no question to answer.

“And at the moment, my focus is working with [Ireland coach] Martin [O’Neill] and all the players and staff and making sure that we go to the Euros and make Ireland proud. Everything else will fall into place after that.”

Keane was coy on Ireland’s chances of progressing to the knockout stages having been drawn into a tough group that includes Belgium, Italy and Sweden.

But said the players will be ready for the challenge having learned some harsh lessons at Euro 2012 having failed to pick up a point.

“We have a few players who were involved in the last European Championships that didn’t go so well so we’d hope we’d be better prepared, wiser to it, more experienced,” he said.

“I think at the last European Championships the players involved had a poor start to the first game. It’s vital you get something on the board in the first game.

“We’ve got a lot of experience in the squad, we’ve got Martin O’Neill involved and we’ve got good staff. We’re well organised, we have good spirit and a bit of momentum. Players are playing with a lot of confidence at the moment, players like Shane Long.

“I know people are talking about it being a very tough group but we’re being very positive about it. We don’t want to just go over there and say, ‘listen, let’s have a few pints and a sing-song’.

“Them days are gone with Ireland, particularly with Martin on board and hopefully myself and some of the other staff and, to be fair, the players now who are involved.

“We don’t want to be back after a week or so, we want to stay over there as long as we can, get out of the group and take on some of the bigger countries.”

Thu 5 May, 2016
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