Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has confirmed that Burnley defender Stephen Ward was the voice behind a leaked WhatsApp message discussing the details of an altercation between Roy Keane, Harry Arter, and Jon Walters.
O’Neill was asked about the alleged message during his press conference ahead of Ireland’s friendly against Poland on Tuesday evening.
He said that “Ward wasn’t there” which confirms that it was, in fact, the Burnley defender behind the leaked message. O’Neill was also keen to point out that it was not the first and won’t be the last falling out between members of the Irish camp.
“First of all the incidents took place at the end of May,” said O’Neill
“They have surfaced months later. It’s not the first altercation between players and staff. I had one with the man beside me on Friday (David Meyler) and he took it on board.”
The Irish manager also added that the despite the incident not involving him it was his responsibility as the head coach.
“Sometimes I think the game has changed. Players need to go out and prove the management wrong. If you’re asking about Roy’s criticism of players, this is my responsibility. I will take full responsibility of anything that goes on.”
O’Neill’s men face Poland in Wroclaw on Tuesday evening and will be looking to bounce back from their 4-1 defeat to Wales in Cardiff on Thursday night.