Keane calls for tough new manager
Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane has called on Football Association of Ireland chiefs to ensure their new manager is "someone who has balls", as the search for Giovanni Trapattoni's successor continued.
In comments that suggest he may welcome the arrival of a stern manager like Roy Keane, the striker has laid down some pretty basic criteria to FAI bosses as they close in on their next head coach.
"I want someone who is an honest manager who doesn't mess around, understands how important it is to be involved in international level, someone who is very, very proud to be a manager and be proud of what we are trying to achieve in Ireland," said Ireland's all-time record goal scorer.
"Someone who is honest and someone who has balls and doesn't take any s*** from anyone. If anybody wants to ask any of the Ireland players a question about this, I am sure they will be very open to listening to what people have to say and certainly give their opinion on what they feel.
"But ultimately, the decision is down to the FAI. It's their heads on the chopping block, if you like, if they don't feel like they are making the right decision."
When asked whether he would be content to welcome Roy Keane as the next Ireland boss, the Los Angeles Galaxy forward was keen to avoid nominating his own preferred candidate as the FAI move towards their reported November 1st deadline to nominate Trapattoni's successor.
"The names I have heard being mentioned, if any of them took over, I think everybody would be fairly happy. It could be any of those," he stated. "I think it's important whoever takes over it's a fresh start for everybody, the whole country gets behind them and we wish them well whoever that may be.
"Mick (McCarthy) is a great guy, a fantastic guy. Everything we have referenced, he comes into that mould. If it was Mick, if it was Martin O'Neill, Roy Keane, I don't think you could go wrong with any of them, to be honest with you."
Keane went on to admit he is hoping an Irishman will take over the reigns of the national team and he is pretty confident that ambition will be realised.
"As long as it's the right man, it doesn't matter. But of course, I think everybody at this stage now probably would want an Irish manager," added Keane. "I think it's probably clear and obvious to see that. It's looking likely that it probably will be, it seems that way, anyway -- that's not me with inside information."