SportSoccer

Roy Keane - I wish I could play on Sunday

Roy Keane speaking ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifier with Poland
Roy Keane speaking ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifier with Poland

Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane has admitted he would have relished the chance to take to the field and play in Sunday's crunch Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland.

Keane will be restricted to his position alongside Ireland boss Martin O'Neill at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday, but he is clearly missing the days when he could make an impact in a more direct manner.

“Put it this way, it’s one of these games that wish I could play in, that’s the way you look at it," stated Keane. 

“I think it will be an intense game. I think it will be fast paced. It will be a physical challenge, with the Poles bringing a lot of supporters

"You can sense it. I think everyone in the country will know there’s a big game coming up

"We’ve had the disappointment of the last result [defeat to Scotland] so yeah, you look at the players and say, it’s time to step up now and show what you’re about.

“A win would be nice after the disappointment of Scotland (defeat in November). You can’t have too many draws. Some days you get good draws and bad draws; like the one in Germany is no doubt a good one.

“But the mindset at home is to go win the match. Afterwards, a draw might not be a bad result but our mindset before the game is to go and get the win.

"The slip up in Scotland is one that we don’t want to cost us too much, but the mindset with the manager, staff, players and fans behind us has to be to go try win the football match.

"If you want to do well in any campaign you have to have a decent home record. I’m guessing a lot of teams have come here and enjoyed the Aviva but it’s up to us to be on the front foot and get the fans behind us."

Keane went on to insist he has no regrets over his decision to walk away from his post as Aston Villa assistant manager, as he is determined to focus his attention on the Ireland cause.

"The aim when I left Villa was to focus on Ireland a bit more," added Keane. "It was a chance to get to games and see the players a bit more often so that's not an issue. 

"I was always comfortable with the decision and I felt it was right for everybody. I’ve no problem [with what I’ve done] It was the right decision.”