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Keane: "Martin knows I still have that ambition to manage at club level"

SoccerBy John Brennan
Jubilant: Keane and O'Neill after last night's victory over Bosnia
Jubilant: Keane and O'Neill after last night's victory over Bosnia

Roy Keane revealed this morning that he has had offers form clubs to get back into daily football management, but turned them down to stay with Martin O'Neill and Ireland.

"Martin (O'Neill) knows I still have that ambition to manage at club level," he said at a Press Briefing after the win over Bosnia.

"I'm planning to meet him in the next few weeks to sort things out, things have come up over the last while, but I've just concentrated on my job and we'll talk to the FAI soon. Contracts have been the last thing on our minds over the last few weeks."

Keane also confirmed that he and the rest of the management team will be looking at players not now in the squad.

"There are places up for grabs. We can give lads a go now, some of the fringe players will get a chance and then we will look outside the group too. Hopefully we will try and surprise a few people in the summer, regardless of what group we get.

"It's a great feeling this morning," Keane laughed. "We'd a good celebration and now they will head back to their clubs. But we enjoyed the moment it was a good night.

"We'll refocus as soon as the draw is made next month and we'll take it from there."

The Irish assistant manager never gave up hope of qualifying.

"I never felt we were out of the group, even after the Scotland draw in the summer. But the lads kept at it, their work-rate was good all through.

"You're always looking for more quaIity and more options, but we've got work-rate, desire and while there's moments you are nervous in any game, I always believed we would win against Bosnia.

"Working with Martin was everything I hoped it would be; it has worked out a treat. I've learned a lot from him. And I've enjoyed working hands on with the players.

"Martin and I are in the game far too long to think you've achieved anything until the final whistle went  last night. You always have to be careful because football can kick you where it hurts and Bosnia have big lads who are powerful on the ball and they were always capable of getting a goal.

"We were also missing important players from the dressing room over the last two games, but lads stepped up and led the way.

"Football needed that last night," Keane added. "The Germany game was a big turning point. We've changed a few things around, hotel, training venue and the lads have come through with it."