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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

O'Neill and Keane appointed by Ireland

Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane have been confirmed as the duo to lead Republic of Ireland after the sacking of Giovanni Trapattoni.

Ireland are close to the appointment of Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane.
O'Neill and

Palmer: O'Neill's new challenge

The pair have been appointed on a two-year deal, according to the Press Association, with former Celtic boss O'Neill handed the job of head coach and Keane named as his assistant.

An FAI statement read: “The Football Association of Ireland this evening [Nov. 5] confirmed that Martin O'Neill will be Ireland's next manager, taking up the position when the Irish team meets up on the evening of November 11 to prepare for two friendly matches against Latvia [Aviva Stadium, Nov. 15) and Poland [Poznan, Nov. 19].”

O’Neill, speaking as one of ITV’s pundits for Tuesday night’s Champions League tie between Real Sociedad and Manchester United, said: “I’m excited by it and looking forward to it greatly.”

Questioned about why he had made the decision to ask the firebrand Keane to be his assistant, O’Neill joked: “I have asked myself that many times in the last 48 hours. I think Roy will be great for me and more importantly, he will be great for the Republic of Ireland. I’m the bad cop and he’s the bad, bad cop. It’s great for me and great for Roy.”

Keane, also on the panel, added: “It’s fantastic news and I’m delighted, even if I don’t look delighted. I’m looking forward to helping the boys qualify for the Euros.”

O'Neill, 61, has been out of work since he was dismissed by Sunderland back in March, while Keane also had a stint in charge of the Black Cats, between 2006 and 2008, and went on to have a spell in charge at Ipswich.

The pair will spearhead the qualification campaign for the expanded 2016 European Championship. Ireland's next fixtures are friendlies against Latvia on Nov. 15 and Poland four days later.

O'Neill won 64 caps for Northern Ireland during his playing career, serving under Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest, as did Keane.

Keane, meanwhile, made 67 international appearances for the Republic before falling out with then manager Mick McCarthy at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and Korea.



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