Roy Keane’s press conferencs have never been boring, be it as a player or a manager. The Corkman’s press conference ahead of Sunday’s crucial World Cup 2018 Qualifier against Austria at the Aviva Stadium was no different, as he issued a rally cry to his players, telling them to treat Sunday’s encounter as if they were going to battle.
When quizzed by journalists on the importance of temperament for such an occasion, Keane was his usual self with a bullish response:
“I don’t think thats ever been an issue with our lads. I think, as usual, you want players playing on the edge. We want players putting their bodies on the line like lads have done before. People like Seamus Coleman. You go out on that pitch and put your bodies on the line. Be ready to accept whatever goes on.”
Irish captain Seamus Coleman was largely part of the discussion, coming in for praise from Keane for his bravery in the last encounter against Wales where he suffered a broken leg. However, Keane was quick to draw the line between heroism and duty:
“People have done a lot more for their country than breaking their legs. People have died for their country. So we want our lads to put their bodies on the line. Give everything they’ve got. My mindset anyway with any group of players I’m working with is we’re going into battle on Sunday. And be ready. Be ready to put your body on the line like Seamus did.”
The Republic of Ireland go into Sunday’s encounter level on top of the group with Serbia, and having defeated Austria in the reverse fixture, the omens would be excellent should a similar result happen, given that one of Serbia and Wales are certain to drop points.
If there’s one thing for sure, Roy Keane won’t let anyone step on the Aviva turf without letting them know what’s at stake.
Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena.