Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill says appointing Roy Keane as his assistant ranks among his best decisions after seeing his team qualify for Euro 2016.
Jonathan Walters scored twice as Ireland beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-0 in front an elated Dublin crowd to seal a 3-1 play-off aggregate victory and a spot in France next year.
It marks a fine achievement for O’Neill, who was appointed in November 2013, and his team after they were fourth with four games remaining.
O’Neill will take much of the praise for the team’s qualification, but he was keen to praise the work of former Ireland international Keane.
“Talking about big decisions, bringing Roy Keane in is as good a decision I’ve made in some time,” O’Neill told Sky Sports.
“He’s been enormous for us. He’s not taking many of the accolades, but he’s been fantastic for me, the backroom staff, and of course the players.”
Ireland have now qualified for back-to-back Euros for the first time and O’Neill lauded his squad.
He added: “I couldn’t be more proud of them they’ve been fantastic from the start way. I’m thinking way back in Georgia from Aiden McGeady’s late winner. I always felt those points might be important so they proved.
“The points against Germany were fantastic. I hold my players in the highest esteem. They might lack some things, but fight and courage until the end they possess in abundance.”
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