robbie keane prepared to juggle ireland and middlesbrough jobs

08:30    13 Jun 2019

Robbie Keane (l)
Former Ireland striker Robbie Keane says he is prepared to juggle his roles with the national team and at EFL Championship club Middlesbrough.

Keane flew to England on Tuesday to have a meeting with Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson, having been offered the chance to become Jonathan Woodgate’s assistant coach.

Woodgate is set to be confirmed as the successor to Tony Pulis at the club, and he is keen on recruiting former Leeds United teammate Keane as part of his backroom staff.

At this stage Keane has not accepted the job because he must weigh up whether he can do it alongside being McCarthy’s right-hand man with Ireland – a role he wants to continue doing.

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Keane said: "I've been asked. I met them yesterday and flew into Dublin this morning [Wednesday].

"They want me to come in as assistant manager and it's up to me to think about it. It won't affect me here which is key.

"I spoke to Mick McCarthy about it and said under no circumstances would I take it if had to leave Ireland and he was delighted with that.

"He said 'you're not f******g leaving here’. They were his actual words. So it's up to me. I love working with Ireland and Mick has been great.

"I've been so busy with the Ireland games and I've not really spoken to my wife about it.

"I flew over to meet the Middlesbrough chairman yesterday and we had a good meal and conversation. It's exciting but the most important thing is I'm not leaving Ireland.

"It's happened so quickly. I've known Woody for 20 years and he's a good friend but I have to think about it.

"I saw on the news a few weeks ago that he might get the job, but I never thought he would call me. But he called me first so I must not be a bad fella!"

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