O'Neill plays down Keane's Ireland row after leak of Ward's WhatsApp recording
Republic of Ireland OâNeill plays down Keaneâs Ireland row after leak of Wardâs WhatsApp recording â¢ Details of row between assistant and two players leaked
â¢ âStephen wasnât there, heâs just picking up on thingsâ
The Republic of Ireland manager Martin OâNeill has attemp ted to draw a line under a row between his assistant, Roy Keane, and players Jonathan Walters and Harry Arter.
OâNeill was speaking at his pre-match press conference in Poland after a WhatsApp recording of the defender Stephen Ward was leaked in which he outlined his understanding of what had happened between the three men during the summer and which was followed by Arter making himself unavailable this month.England v Switzerland to be screened in black and white Read more
OâNeill said: âFirst of all, Stephen wasnât there, heâs just picking up on things, something that we talked about at the beginning of the week. Probably not anything more to really report.
âI think differences of what was said â¦ a confrontation with Jon and a confrontation with Harry. Jon is fine, absolutely fine. Harry perhaps not so fine. But I said to you before, youâd have to ask if that is the complete reason why Harry is not participating in these games t his time.
âBut I think you probably know that anyway because Harry has let it be known to a few people anyway, the reasons he has decided not to come.â
Asked if Wardâs version tallied with the one he had been given by Keane, OâNeill replied: âNo.â
The manager, sitting alongside midfielder David Meyler, was equally emphatic when asked if Keaneâs behaviour was causing a problem with some players.
He said: âIâd have to say absolutely not. First of all â" these things are important to say â" first of all the incidents took place at the end of May when we were in camp. We are now here four months later.
âIt wouldnât be the first conversation, the first tÃªte-Ã -tÃªte, certainly it wouldnât be the first, if I can call it, altercation between players and staff. Iâve had one with the man sitting beside me here two days ago.â
OâNeill added: âIf youâre asking about Royâs criticism of players, let me tell you this is my responsibility, totally my responsibility, absolutely and utterly. Every single kick players make, every save that is made, every corner that is conceded, every goal that is scored is my responsibility, so Iâll take full responsibility for what has happened in this camp.
âAt the end of it all Iâm actually the manager. In my time as a manager, Iâve chosen two brilliant, brilliant assistant managers, two characters, two world-class players: John Robertson and the young man himself, Roy Keane. Theyâre different, but at the end of it all, none of them have ever let me down. John Robertson criticised players; Roy has a different way. I take the responsibility for it at the end of the day because thatâs my job.âTopics
- Republic of Ireland
- Martin O'Neill
- Roy Keane
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