Republic of Ireland manager O’Neill says he does not feel sympathy with Stephen Ward over a leaked audio clip describing series of heated rows in camp
Last Updated: 11/09/18 8:45am
Martin O’Neill says his Republic of Ireland assistant Roy Keane is ready to have a “reconciliation” with Harry Arter in the aftermath of their row.
O’Neill denied a problem exists within some members of the squad after an audio clip purporting to be Ireland’s Stephen Ward surfaced online discussing details of a foul-mouthed altercation involving Keane, Arter and Jon Walters.
Arter is absent from the Ireland squad to face Poland in a friendly in Wroclaw on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports Mix from 7.40pm, after O’Neill admitted last week it was in part due to the falling out in May.
“I think there might be a bit of a reconciliation between Roy and Harry. Certainly Roy is up for that,” O’Neill said.
Ward, who withdrew from the Ireland squad through injury, was not present when the incident took place but his WhatsApp version of events also suggests Walters and Keane had a face-to-face confrontation.
O’Neill has already said Ward’s version of events does not tally with Keane’s, but dismissed suggestions it could end the Burnley defender’s international career.
But when asked whether he had sympathy for Ward, O’Neill said: “Today… probably not. Tomorrow… probably not also.”
He has been betrayed by some of his friends, who he has known for a long, long time. That will be a disappointment for him.
Martin O’Neill on Stephen Ward
“He has been betrayed by some of his friends, who he has known for a long, long time. That will be a disappointment for him.”
Back in 2005, Keane left Manchester United following a damning assessment of the Old Trafford squad in an interview with the club’s own television channel. The 47-year-old’s passion is crucial going forward, insists O’Neill.
He said: “You were talking about Roy Keane there – this was after Roy Keane had coerced that top-quality team to win seven championships or something like that, in a 10-year period.
“Roy Keane was the driving force of that team. He had great, great players, the Welsh manager [Ryan Giggs] beside him, David Beckham, an iconic figure in the game, a world-class goalkeeper [Peter Schmeichel] and top-class players who could have played anywhere in the world.
Poland vs Rep Ire
September 11, 2018, 7:40pm
“He drove them on, and they have all admitted that. He was looking for exacting standards and that’s exactly what I want, exacting standards whatever way they are mentioned to people.
“If people are not up to them, not necessarily in terms of ability all the time, then I do think the players or other people have to have a look at them.
“That’s not to say that every utterance that myself or Roy Keane makes is absolutely and utterly correct.”
Watch Poland v Republic of Ireland live on Sky Sports Mix from 7.40pm on Tuesday.