5 ways Roy Keane has been preparing for Euro 2016


There is never a dull moment when Roy Keane is around, particularly in the run-up to a major tournament.

Here's a look at how the Republic of Ireland's assistant manager is warming up for the Euro 2016 finals in France.

1. Getting cross with his players

That is an understatement for Keane's reaction to a tepid 2-1 defeat by Belarus in Ireland's final warm-up game at Turner's Cross, Cork.

Asked the following day for his assessment, Keane said: "Well, I wanted to kill a few of them last night, so I have moved on from that.

"Whatever was said about it being down in Cork City and the pitch and it was sunny - forget that. You are playing international football, you are playing international football.

"Control the bloody ball, pass it and move to your mates, and if you lose it, run back - and run back like you care."

2. Calling a spade a spade

Roy Keane shouts at Manchester City's Alfie Haaland

Keane was never shy or slow to put his foot in on the pitch as Alf-Inge Haaland can testify to his cost. He does not appreciate anything less from the players he coaches.

He said: "I'm worried when players aren't carrying knocks, you're supposed to carry knocks because you are supposed to tackle people, you're supposed to hit people at pace and hit them hard. It's part of the game.

"It's not chess we are playing. Every time you get a knock, you don't need to go for a scan, you know what I mean, or take painkillers or have two days' recovery or matchday minus-two, 'I need to sit in the pool for an hour and a half'.

"It's a man's game we are playing, believe it or not."

3. Reminiscing about the old days

Ireland fans hold up a flag in honour of Roy Keane

Fourteen years ago, Keane, then Ireland skipper, made an unscheduled and premature return from the Far East ahead of the 2002 World Cup Finals after a spectacular fall-out with manager Mick McCarthy.

He was less than happy with the arrangements for Ireland's preparations, but his employers have pulled out all the stops this time around.

Asked about the difference in approaching the finals as a coach rather than as a player, Keane said: "I am working with good people, which helps, the manager, the staff, the players. I know when we get over there, we'll have a good go. Everything is good in the background - the organisation, the preparations, it's all pretty good, so (a smile creeps across his face) no distractions."

4. Being an ambassador for Cork

Roy Keane on the training pitch with Ireland

Keane is proud of his Cork roots, and the fact that Ireland completed their preparations for the finals in his home county may or may not have had much to do with his influence.

However, one thing remains very clear: Martin O'Neill is the boss.

Writing in his programme notes ahead of the Belarus game, the Derry man said: "We are genuinely delighted to be playing tonight in this county, and while I dispute my assistant manager's exaggerated claim that Cork is the finest county in Ireland, the hospitality shown to some of us who visited here last year was sincerely heart-warming."

5. Smiling

Roy Keane in an Ireland press conference

The former Manchester United man has seemed in unusually good spirits of late - aside from, y'know, wanting to kill his players, which is pretty much base level irritation where Keane is concerned.

Perhaps the prospect of being back in top-level competition agrees with him.