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keano rumours Former Ireland team-mate backs Roy Keane to shine if he handed a chance at Celtic


Roy Keane may not be universally welcomed as Celtic's new manager. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell

Roy Keane may not be universally welcomed as Celtic's new manager. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell

Roy Keane may not be universally welcomed as Celtic's new manager. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell

Roy Keane is being strongly linked with a move to take over as Celtic manager and one of his former Ireland team-mates believes he could be ready to silence his doubters if he gets the top job at Parkhead.

Andy Townsend played alongside Keane in Ireland's midfielder under the management of Jack Charlton and he believes Keane's ten-year absence from frontline management will not count against him if he gets the Celtic job.

Speaking to sundayworld.com at a Virgin Media event to promote the screen of 'Finding Jack', an intimate portrait of Charlton, Townsend told us Keane's brand of management could be just what Celtic need.

"I've always felt that Roy had the ability to be a top manager and I genuinely still feel that," Townsend told us.

"Keano has still got a bit of unfinished business as a manager. It wouldn't surprise me if a big club came his way.

"I don't know what direction Celtic are looking to go down, but I think he could be someone who goes in there and shakes things up.

"With Steven Gerrard in charge of Rangers and given his Liverpool connections, if Keano goes into Celtic with his Manchester United past, it would certainly make for great viewing in the Friday press conferences every week."

Townsend believes Keane's reputation for falling out with players should not block his path to a return to management, more than a decade after his lost his job as Ipswich manager.

"It depends what type of manager Celtic are looking for," he added. "If they want a coach to go out there and work with players morning, noon and night on tactics, there may be other people out there who are better qualified.

"If you want someone who can manage your club, to add profile to add personality and be an instantly recognisable face around the world of football, Roy Keane could be that man.

"His record in the game means he instantly commands the respect of all around him in football and he would also be someone the Celtic fans could put some hope and expectation into.

"Sometimes you need more than a coach at a club like Celtic, you need a personality as well as a manager and Keano has all the credentials.

"If he does get a chance at Celtic, I hope he does well. I have always believed top players who have been leaders on the pitch can become strong and successful managers.

"We have moved away from that in recent years, but that doesn't mean to say top former players can't move into management and make a success of it."

Andy Townsend is executive producer for the documentary 'Finding Jack', that will reflect on the life and times of the great Jack Charlton. The film airs on Virgin Media One this Sunday at 9pm.

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Online Editors